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Rumba a la Patato by Marlon Simon and the Nagual Spirits

Marlon Simon has richly blended textures in this CD. His infectious rhythms and moving compositions strike deep. One should be touched in his/her soul after this. The first three tracks (title track, "Songo pa Monk," and "Humble and Innocent") are quite spirited and definitely show Simon’s mastery and dedication to his musical form.

"Ericka" is based on the tragic loss of his daughter. While it is a tender track, it’s not wrought with sadness and despair. The respectful tribute to her by the ensemble is quite beautiful. Watson’s soprano sax wanders through with an airy, sweet touch. The piano solo is equally gentle and engaging as Perdomo gives the light, restrained treatment, as well as the other musicians.

The pace is picked up again with "Something for Carol," but simmers down with "Easy Mood," which is a really classy piece of work. Piano, alto sax and congas really steal the show here, but Andy Gonzales shows up on bass and walks this one out. The remaining tracks "Sandra Malandra," "Belleza India" (a beautifully enchanting ballad), and "Clear to Take Off," (reminds me of "Airplane Samba") wax well and there are no disappointments here.

Marlon Simon and his accompanists, two of which are his brothers, are in total musical agreement. This CD is full of Latin/African expression and it’s served over some really sound jazz. Who could ask for anything more?

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Marlon Simon and the Nagual Spirits
  • CD Title: Rumba a la Patato
  • Genre: Latin Jazz / Latin Funk
  • Year Released: 1999
  • Record Label: Cubop/Ubiquity Records
  • Musicians: Brian Lynch (trumpet), Peter Brainin (tenor saxophone), Bobby Watson (alto and soprano saxophones), Michael Simon (trumpet), Luis Perdomo, Edward Simon (piano), Andy Gonzalez, John Benitez (bass), Roberto Quintero (congas, bongo), Marlon Simon (percussion)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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