Latin from Manhattan
Bob Mintzer has a wonderful sense of a big band as a living, breathing entity. He knows how to make it feel good, how to arouse, to tickle and when to let it go. All of this and more comes through in this set focused on the leader's gleanings from 25 years of working in and around the Latin music scene in New York. He sets the stage with a tribute to Tito Puente, an irresistible setting of "Oyez Como Va" capped by an incandescent trumpet solo from Larry Lunetta. The remaining nine tracks are Mintzer-minted compositions, including tributes to Machito and El Caborojeno, a pivotal Latin dance club. All the horn players get some solo space in the course of the proceedings, as do the rhythm stalwarts: Phil Markowitz, piano, John Riley on drums and Louis Bauzo on percussion. Bassist Jay Anderson matches every meter Mintzer serves up. Plenty picante, no heartburn: a highly satisfying musical meal.