11 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Cuban-born percussionist Luis Conte is a veteran studio and touring musician who has played with a wide range of artists as varied as James Taylor, Pat Metheny, Phil Collins, and Beck. En Casa de Luis presents a nice mix of jazz instrumentals, Afro-Cuban grooves, and other material. Conte overdubs a rich array of percussion here, but he also plays synth, accordion, and bass. “The Last Resort” is a nice slice of West Coast Latin Jazz decked out with Walt Fowler’s trumpet and flugelhorn. On “Water Pots,” Conte incorporates Middle Eastern and North African percussion and Barry Coates lays down a nice guitar hook. There’s also a clave-driven take on the Peggy Lee hit “Fever” that won’t be confused with any other version. Some of best cuts are short, unpretentious percussion workouts that ripple with excitement. The opening title track finds Conte’s appealing lead vocals riding layers of percussion; welcome backup singers join in, and party chatter can be heard in the background. One gem, “Conga Melody,” incorporates chants, handclaps, ukulele, accordion, and drums to make a joyful noise.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Cuban-born percussionist Luis Conte is a veteran studio and touring musician who has played with a wide range of artists as varied as James Taylor, Pat Metheny, Phil Collins, and Beck. En Casa de Luis presents a nice mix of jazz instrumentals, Afro-Cuban grooves, and other material. Conte overdubs a rich array of percussion here, but he also plays synth, accordion, and bass. “The Last Resort” is a nice slice of West Coast Latin Jazz decked out with Walt Fowler’s trumpet and flugelhorn. On “Water Pots,” Conte incorporates Middle Eastern and North African percussion and Barry Coates lays down a nice guitar hook. There’s also a clave-driven take on the Peggy Lee hit “Fever” that won’t be confused with any other version. Some of best cuts are short, unpretentious percussion workouts that ripple with excitement. The opening title track finds Conte’s appealing lead vocals riding layers of percussion; welcome backup singers join in, and party chatter can be heard in the background. One gem, “Conga Melody,” incorporates chants, handclaps, ukulele, accordion, and drums to make a joyful noise.

TITLE TIME

About Luis Conte

Conte is an Afro-Latin, Latin, and Afro-Cuban bandleader, conductor, composer, and arranger whose late-'80s 16-piece Afro-Cuban jazz band was overlooked and underrecorded by Latin jazz and jazz companies until the release of albums like Buena Vista Social Club sparked a rennaissance of interest in Cuban music. His 2000 release, Cuban Dreams, was issued by Rounder Records. ~ Ron Wynn

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