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Poncho At Montreux

Poncho Sanchez

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Album Review

If it can be believed, Poncho's band is as tight on-stage as they are in the studio. With intricate hits from the percussion section and screaming horn kicks, all with Swiss watch timing, it is no wonder that Sanchez is one of the best-known bandleaders in Latin jazz. The only cue to the listener that this is a live recording is the enthusiastic applause of the adoring audience at the Montreux Jazz Festival. As has become a hallmark of Sanchez's particular style, almost all the tunes strut along at guaracha tempo, barely ever breaking a sweat. Similarly, the repertoire choices tend to hover around bluesy changes and soul sensibility. The effect is a whole lot of California, and not a lot of Cuba. Perhaps this sensibility is a product of his long stint with the hugely popular bandleader Cal Tjader, who had also developed a very accessible style, making Afro-Cuban easily digestible and palatable to a wide range of listeners. Perhaps it is because the sparse approach allows every note to ring clear, creating an imminently listenable sound. Whatever the source, tight, less-is-more playing seems to be the order of the day, and has, over time, won Sanchez an enormous fan base. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi

Biography

Born: October 30, 1951 in Laredo, TX

Genre: Latin Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The imaginative rhythms of Poncho Sanchez have made him one of the most influential conga players and percussionists in Afro-Cuban jazz. In addition to recording as a soloist, Sanchez has been featured on albums by the Jazz Crusaders, Eddie Harris, Freddie Hubbard, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Dianne Reeves, Joey DeFrancesco, and Terence Blanchard. Becoming a member of vibraphonist Caj Tjader's Band in 1975, Sanchez remained with the group until Tjader's death on May 5, 1982. By then, he had already...
Full Bio
Poncho At Montreux, Poncho Sanchez
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