Socrates Garcia’s Latin Jazz Orchestra: Back Home

While there are not question and answer  periods  here, bandleader Socrates Garcia does an excellent job of justifying the epistemology of a big band, as he directs the 23 member unit through a collection of rich and exciting music based on his Dominican background.

The four member rhythm team of Manuel Tejada/p, Pengian Sang/b, Steve Kovalcheck/g and Helen De La Rosa is accentuated by four percussionists who contribute traditional sounds and grooves, adding extra spice into the mix. The team dances to a gallop on “Vantage Point” as Ryan Middagh’s baritone sax and Manuel Tejada’s piano deliver rich solos. Kenyon Brenner’s tenor breezes over the sizzling piano on the gentle “Back Home” which also includes the leader on guitar, while some wonderful ebbs and flows from the reeds and brass are contrasted over the rustling percussion on “Homage to tavito” as the band closes with a charging “From Across the Street” which includes Rafael Almengod’s tambo to take you to the village festival. Do any of these guys also play baseball?!?

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