On the CD Mambo Jazz, two master percussionists, John Santos and Bobby Matos have come together to record an explosive Afro-Cuban Jazz CD. The recording was made in the spirit of "descarga" or Cuban Jam session in which musicians come together to show their stuff, in an atmosphere of total creativity. Santos and Matos are both on the Cubop Label. When Matos became aware of Santos visit to L.A. for a show the idea was born to meet in the studio. The bands of both musicians met in the studio for an all day jam session in various combinations. The results-there's a party going on and you're invited. The musicians obviously had fun and so will you.
Joining the regular band members were Black Note trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, Skip Howlett, and sonero Martin Padilla from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Most of the songs were written for the session. Santos penned the lovely Caminando with its shifting rhythms and jazzy sound. Matos contribution was the son montuno "Oye Mi Querida." Reed player Michel Turre composed Mambo Mona Mia X, which features the skillful horn players and a bongo solo from Orsetes Vilato. My personal favorite, I Don't Speak Spanish (But I Understand Everything When I' Dancing) is a spoken word piece read by Denise Cook. It has fiery Mambo background, which has been a showstopper at their live performances. This piece could be a kernel for a very exciting play. I don't dance Salsa or Mambo, but when I hear this music, you can be sure I'm out there doing a good imitation.