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No. 5, April 2000
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Poncho Sanchez
biography and CD Latin Soul

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Music is a matter of taste. Poncho Sanchez, a Latin jazz and salsa singer and percussionist, has won a Grammy Award in 1999. In the German edition of January/February  Cosmopolis has published a not so favorable review of his latest CD, Latin Soul.
 
Poncho Sanchez is a Mexican American from the Southwest of the USA. As a teenager he was influenced by the Jazz Crusaders and their hard hop and post-loop in the 1960s. There sound was unique thanks in part to the striking combination of Henderson's trombone and Felder's tenor. In hard hop, front lines have often consisted of trumpet and sax, but tenor/trombone front lines that excluded the trumpet were quite a rarity. Though The Jazz Crusaders had been greatly influenced by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, there was no confusing the two, as Poncho Sanchez explains. The Jazz Crusader later became The Modern Jazz Sextet. Poncho Sanchez listened to the Jazz Crusaders at the famous Lighthouse club in Hermosa Beach. To young to get in, he listened from the outside. Sanchez first worked with Henderson and Felder when they revived the name Jazz Crusaders for 1995's Happy Again.
 
Poncho Sanchez was born in Laredo, Texas on October 30, 1951, but raised in L.A. He was the youngest of eleven kids - some of them hardcore jazz enthusiasts, and all of them devoted salseros. Sanchez was exposed to the music of Latin stars like Tito Rodriguez, Tito Puente, Machito, Celia Cruz, and Ray Barretto as well as to the jazz sounds of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown and The lonious Monk. Sanchez absorbed a lot of Afro-Cuban styles: mambo, son, cha-cha, rhumba, guaracha, in short: salsa. Another primary inspiration of Sanchez was the late vibist Cal Tjader, who did a lot to popularize Latin jazz in the 1950s. 23-year-old Sanchez joined Tjader's band in 1975 and stayed with him until his death in Manila in the Philippines on May 5, 1982, at the age of 56.
 
Sanchez recorded his first albums as a leader in 1979. Over the years, his albums would employ some distinguished guests, including Tito Puente, Freddie Hubbard and the late Eddie Harris. His album Latin Soul (1999) has been recorded with the help of solid musicians. But Poncho Sanchez' singing is not convincing and the band interpretations of classics like Watermelon Man and Listen Here/Cold Duck Time are poor performances. As said in the beginning: music is a matter of taste...
 
Poncho Sanchez' new CD: Latin Soul, October 1999
 
Pncho Sanchez: congas, percussion, lead vocals, timbale solo(track 8); David Torres piano; Ramon Banda timbales, chekere; Tony Banda bass, vocals, chekere; Jose "Papo" Rodriguez bongos, chekere, congas; Sal Cracchiolo trumpet, flugelhorn; Scott Martin tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute; Francisco Torres trombone; Mike Whitman baritone saxophone (tracks 6 & 8); Jose Rizo emcee (KLON radio).
 

www.cosmopolis.ch
No. 5, April 2000
current edition & archives
Art  Film  Music  History  Politics  Archives
Links  Advertise  Feedback  German edition  Travel

Copyright 2000  www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.