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Bobby Vince Paunetto: Commit to Memory, Paunetto’s Point

Fans of the hard hitting, fully orchestrated Latin jazz of the ’70s have reason to celebrate – with the recent double-CD reissue of Bobby Vince Paunetto’s landmark works, Commit to Memory and Paunetto’s Point (Tonga Productions TNGCD 803512; disc 1 -47:57, disc 2-49:05) and a new release, Composer in Public (RSVP Jazz CD 1777; 71:27) marking Bobby’s return to the music scene after 20 years, and a bout with multiple sclerosis.

The reissue discs are historic must-haves for those who dug the live-and-alive highly orchestrated and slightly ragged Latin jazz sound epitomized by such groups as the L.A. Jazz Ensemble and Paunetto’s CTM Band. Commit to Memory epitomizes that live and alive, horn-heavy sound with tracks like “Mediterraneo,” which dances with Paunetto’s own vibes, and “Spanish Maiden,” which wails with dramatic horns and orchestral sweep. Paunetto touches on the entire Latin palette, crafting unique homes for mambo and flamenco accents and creating unique moods like the dark string-wrought tension of “Delta.”

Palmetto’s Point delves even further into mood and contrast, as “Brother Will” opens with the dark horn chorale of a Southern lament, before opening up into a cool Latin feel. Where “In Time’s Time” is a knuckling dance with ragged edges, “Osiris” combines a disco-threaded rhythm with snaking trombone and ethereal vibes for some out-there, ahead-of-its-time stuff. Consider that the CTM alumni roster includes such names as Abe Laboriel, Justo Almario, John Scofield, and Manny Oquendo, and Paunetto’s influence takes on an even greater significance.

Originally Published