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Album Review

A reissue of an obscure 1971 release by New York Latin soul-jazz heavyweights Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers, this version of Yaina tacks on a remarkable reworking of the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" at the front, with an opening section even more dolorous and somber than the original that quickly shifts into a hot, percussion-heavy workout with an almost gospel-like quality. Why it wasn't on the original album is a mystery, because it towers over the rest of these songs. Not that there aren't some gems here; "Cease the Bombing" manages to make an effective anti-war statement just with flutes, vibes, gentle percussion, and a melancholy wordless vocal chorus, and a funked-up cover of John Coltrane's classic "Naima" works surprisingly well. Some of the tracks, though, are simply undistinguished riffs worked over for a few minutes and then dropped with little elaboration. Luckily, the good-to-great tracks outnumber the bummers.

Biography

Formed: 1959

Genre: Latin Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In the 1960s, no one combined more or less equal elements of jazz, Latin music, soul, and funk as well as Henry "Pucho" Brown (b. November 1, 1938). A somewhat forgotten figure until recently, Pucho never achieved the wide recognition of some other Latin jazz performers exploring similar territory, such as Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, and Cal Tjader. The timbales player and bandleader...
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Yaina, Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers
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