Psychedelic Blues (Concord Picante)

Poncho Sánchez 

Released September 15, 2009

Grammy Nominee for Best Latin Jazz Album 2011




The worlds top Latin jazz ensemble comes roaring back with this exciting new release, which finds them going back to their roots with excellent new treatments of jazz and Latin jazz classics, such as Herbie Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island, Freddie Hubbards Crisis and a medley of classics from Willie Bobo. Also features a pair of brand new originals written especially for this album.

Track Listing:

1. Cantaloupe Island (Herbie Hancock) 5:08

2. Crisis (Freddie Hubbard) 4:34

3. Psychedelic Blues (Sonny Henry) 5:16

4. Willie Bob Medley: I Don’t Know/Fried Neck Bones and Some Homefries/Spanish Grease (Willie Bobo / Sonny Henry / Melvin Lastie) 6:40

5. Grand Central (John Coltrane) 4:48

6. Slowly but Surely (John Hicks) 4:09

7. Silver’s Serenade (Horace Silver) 6:19

8. The One Ways (David Torres) 4:50

9. Delifonse (Poncho Sanchez / Francisco Torres) 3:56

10. Con Sabor Latino (René Touzet) 4:43


Poncho Sanchez: congas, percussion, lead vocals

David Torres: piano, Hammond B-3 organ

Javier Vergara: tenor and alto saxophones

Ron Blake: trumpet, flugelhorn

Francisco A Torres: trombone

Tony Banda: bass, background vocals

George Ortiz: timbales

Joey de Leon Jr.: bongos, percussion, background vocals

Scott C Martin: baritone saxophone

Andrew Synowiec: guitar

Alfredo Ortiz: bongos, percussion

Special Guest

Arturo Sandoval: trumpet (2)

Recorded at Henson Recording Studios, by Ron Davis and The Village Studios, by Seth Presant

Produced by John Burk and Poncho Sanchez

Mixed by Ron Davis

Mastered by Paul Blackmore

Assistant Engineer: Kevin Mills, Paul Lamalfa

Photography: Devin DeHaven

Art Direction: Larissa Collins


It’s curious that Poncho Sanchez chose to title his 24th album for Concord Picante Psychedelic Blues: The name, borrowed from the third track on the album, conjures up images of ’60s rock acts like Cream and Hendrix jamming the night away at excruciatingly loud volumes while a light show pulsates behind them. But that’s not what you get on Sanchez’s version of the psychedelic blues-not at all. In fact, the conguero and bandleader has jettisoned the homages to classic Motown and Stax R&B that defined 2003’s Outa Sightand 2007’s Raise Your Hand in favor of the more purist and tightly arranged traditional Latin jazz he perfected long ago.
Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” sets the tone up front, anchored by Francisco Torres’ trombone and Ron Blake’s trumpet on one end and Andrew Synowiec’s guitar and David Torres’ organ on the other. Freddie Hubbard’s sizzling “Crisis” (with guest trumpeter Arturo Sandoval) and Horace Silver’s “Silver’s Serenade,” given a mambo treatment, reinforce the album’s jazz cred, but it’s the more mainstream Latin tracks that pack the harder punch. The “Willie Bobo Medley” (consisting of “I Don’t Know,” “Fried Neck Bones and Some Homefries” and “Spanish Grease”) pays tribute to the late percussionist while recalling early Santana. The final two entries, Sanchez and Francisco Torres’ “Delifonse” and Cuban bandleader Rene Touzet’s salsa “Con Sabor Latino,” showcase Sanchez’s percussion chops and the ensemble’s airtight cohesiveness.

Jeff Tamarkin (JazzTimes)