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Grupo Los Santos

Clave Heart ****
CD (OA2 Records/Grupo Los Santos 20922 (OS6)), Released 2012;
Editor's Pick:
What a great, surprising recording, from a little known New York band, Grupo Los Santos. The band, Paul Carlon on saxophones, Pete Smith on guitar, David Ambrosio on bass and Beaver Bausch on drums are on its third installment and Clave Heart is pretty amazing, a mixture of religious singing and rhythms from Cuba and an absolutely modern Brooklyn jazz sensibility. It is a strange combination at first, because the music seems so right, so authentic in its intent, yet thereís nothing traditional or academic about it at all. It all just works right, the group conception, the improvisation, the sound, rough and natural.
The musicís also knowing, with Ambrosio holding down the bass parts (he also plays and teaches bata drumming), moving from montunos to funk patterns and jazz, and Smith, the guitarist, snapping out parts as if he were in the James Brown band. Thereís rock in Smithís playing too, but itís not a default position; at times he sounds like Bill Frisell, or James Blood Ulmer, modern, thoughtful, different. There is a coro singing Santeria, thereís tap dancing (Max Pollak, the only non-Cuban ever asked to join Los Munequitos de Matanzas) which adds a density to the percussion that oddly never sounds clogged. Again, it all sounds right.
But this is a different project; thereís nothing like it that Iíve heard. Itís Latin jazz, I suppose, but the term seems antiquated and inadequate to describe whatís going on. Itís just bright and new modern music that knows a ton about the Afro Cuban tradition, and a ton about the modern jazz tradition, and isnít afraid to take liberties with it all. (Peter Watrous, 2012-10-25)
Song titles include:
Entre Dongan Y Arden 6:40
Future Homage 5:44
No T 6:21
Clave Heart 7:53
Dimelo 7:10
Illuminado 7:06
Afrekete Blue 5:44
Algo Azul 6:04
Tug Of War 6:34
Rumba Papa Kaori 5:15
Musicians include:
Paul Carlon Tenor & soprano saxes, vocals
Pete Smith Guitar, vocals
David Ambrosio Acoustic bass, bata, vocals
William "Beaver" Bausch Drumset, vocals
Special Guests: Max Pollak Tap dance/Rumba tap, vocals
Kaori Fujii Flute
Category: Latin Jazz => Latin Jazz
Shipping Value: 1
ORDER TL-24936.10 CD $14.98

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