Sunday, September 18, 2005

Poncho Sanchez

I went to see a concert last night - Poncho Sanchez. He's a Latin Jazz artist, most known for working in the boogaloo style. Boogaloo is a hybrid of class 60s and 70s soul with Latin jazz. It's a style I like. I used to be a member on Naspter, and the main thing I listened to was Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers. For Poncho, think of combining Tito Puente and Ray Charles. Pucho, when he was best, was more like combining James Brown or War with Tito. Anyway, it was a great concert.

Poncho is the conga player and band leader. Since I studied conga for about half a year, I could appreciate how good he is. I mean his slaps are crisp and clear, his opens ring out across the ampitheater, his muffs are muffed. Each sound is distinct and he can fly at the same time. The rest of his band was as good or better. The trombone player appears to be the main arranger at this point, and he showed his arranging chops as well. There were points where the sax and trombone played simultaneously and yet never stepped on one another. Or when the trombone and sax would play a single melody up and down the scale, with each taking their own appropriate range. I also got reminded just how limited rock percussion can be. There were large segments where just the percussion section (congas, timbales, bongos, clave) would go, and you missed nothing.

I'd recommend gettng an album. In fact, I have a gift certificate from Borders for my birthday, which I have not spent yet, so maybe that's what I will do. Poncho is a Latin grammy winner, so the albums shouldn't be hard to find.

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