For a couple of years, some of my friends and I have been sharing music with one another. We’re supposed to review/rate whatever’s shared with us, but that doesn’t always happen.
Arturo Sandoval – Hot House (1998)
This week Spencer is played a Latin Jazz show with a big band and some of the tunes are from this album, so that’s why he’s sharing it.
It’s not on Spotify, and there are some tunes on YouTube, but I was able to find the whole album on Tidido. I don’t want this to turn into an ad for them, because I really don’t know much about the site other than whenever I have a hard time finding an album online, I always seem to be able to turn to them. That being said, their copy of Cuban American Medley is incomplete and cuts off at 1:00, right in the middle of Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
This album didn’t hook me right away. And even though the horns on Rhythm of Our World were absolutely great, the first half of the tune felt like a mediocre medley. The last half of the tune totally made up for it.
I was thrown off a little by the guitar in Closely Dancing. It sounded good, it just isn’t something you normally expect to hear in Latin Jazz. Not that I didn’t like it, it just had to grow on me a little. It came back for New Images, which was another song that had to grow on me, but not because of the guitar.
The little quotes of things like Salt Peanuts in Mam-Bop were cool, but they made more sense knowing Sandoval got his start (or at least substantial recognition) playing with Dizzy Gillespie.
I get that not all music is designed to get you to move your body, but this is. And it (mostly) achieved its goal. My favorites were the title track, Sandunga and Tito. Brassman’s Holiday starts and ends with some sweet, crunchy chords, which I liked more than the flying trumpet lines. 3.5/5
If you’re wondering what the title of the post mean, it’s from Tito. Indirectly translated it says, “You won’t stop enjoying [the Latin Jazz music] until the day dawns.”
Colors – Standing on the Sun (1995)
I feel like I’ve been listening to Colors longer than any other “local” band. These guys are my brother’s age. They graduated from the same high school all of my siblings and I did. The recording engineer on this album was my uncle. They graduated from the same university one of my sisters and I did. My other sister has shared the stage with them. When I was engaged to my wife, she lived in the basement of a house one of them owned.
I have their first five albums, which includes their live album. I no longer know where the physical version of their first one went. Albums two through four are all signed.
Their fourth album is probably the best sounding and most mature, but while this album lacks some of that later refinement, this is the one I come back to most. And from a band that has been a big influence, this is the album with the most influence on me as a musician.
Here’s what my friends had to say:
“I haven’t listened to this for a long time, and another listen reminded me why. Its a little rough on the edges, the writing seems a bit mediocre, and the production just doesn’t hold up as well as their later releases. Sometimes it seems their singing gets a little over-exuberant, the timing is a bit ragged here and there. I prefer the up-tempo tracks over the slower ones that sometimes drag a bit. I actually like a lot of the tracks, and I like the group for chill out listening, but I find this the least inspiring Colors album. It works in a mix of their music, but I don’t like to listen straight through.” 3.5/5 – Spencer
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