26 March 2008
SABU - ASTRONAUTAS DE LA PACHANGA
Sabu Martinez for SMC from 1960.
Thom Jurek on the case again:
In the aftermath of the success of Sabu Martinez's Jazz Espagnole, he took the band out on the road. It fell apart after only a few months because of Sabu's inability to control his own destructive urges. Hence, Martinez picked up whomever he could find to try and re-create the music on Jazz Espagnole -- usually with disastrous results. However, a couple of those bands stayed together long enough to record a pair of albums for the SMC label in late 1960, the Astronautas de la Pachangas. Shrouded in mystery, with the name of the vibraphonist not even known and only Martinez credited with both his names -- the rest have names like Raynaldo, Del Valle, etc. -- the set while, not having the stunning character of Jazz Espangnole, is nonetheless an accomplished bit of recorded wizardry, and the cats came a long way from that first gig. Whoever the vibraphonist is, he doesn't have a hint of Cal Tjader's West Coast-style in him, and is, indeed, the star of the sextet. The arrangements are not as complex or as interesting as those on the earlier set, but there is plenty here to be grateful for, and the playing is nearly flawless, even if it does lean a bit more heavily on the "Latin" in Latin jazz. The album's best cuts are the explosive vibes/piano interplay that takes place on "Descarga Atomica," and the "Pancho-Pachanga," with its killer timbales solo. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
See the previous Sabu post for issue/reissue details.
Ripped @320 from the Lazarus vinyl reissue of 1997.If you would like an original SMC Pressing check Popsike for some prices- hold on tight 'tho!