EJAZZ - REVIEW By EDWARD BLANCO
January 9, 2010
Media Alert: RG Royal Sound Orchestra "Impact" (RG Records 0201) Street Date February 2, 2010
CD Review: http://www.ejazznews.com/
By Edward Blanco
Miami-based Cuban-born music producer Recaredo Gutierrez combines his obvious cultural affiliation with Latin music and his love for the big band sound into one musical project of big band swing with a decidedly Latin twist. The new album "Impact," is the debut recording of Gutierrez's 20-piece RG Royal Sound Orchestra presenting several familiar tunes from the Great American Songbook of the 60s and 70s and, with new and creative arrangements, transforms these popular oft recorded standards into a dazzling and brassy session of Afro-Cuban rhythms fused with a Spanish flamenco foundation. The fusion of a traditional jazz band sound with the flamenco influence is accomplished in part with the addition of eight musicians from Spain essentially augmenting the personnel to create a twenty-eight-piece ensemble on selected pieces.
The 20-piece RG Royal Sound Orchestra includes a 13 horn and seven piece rhythm section that features among the cast of players, Cuban-born pianist Hilario Duran, fellow countryman and trumpeter Adalberto Lara "Trompetica," Spanish-born saxophonist great Ed Calle, baritone saxophonist Mike Brignola, trombonist Steve Sigmund and Gutierrez's 15 year old son Richard making his professional debut. This muscular big band employs an exciting and boisterous horn section engulfing a repertoire of largely up-tempo music and produces an exciting brassy swinging big band sound not heard as often these days?an unfortunate fact of todays jazz scene.
Among the highlights are such Frank Sinatra staples as "My Way, "Strangers In The Night" and "New York,New York." Tony Bennett would be pleased with the Latin arrangement of his signature song "I Left My Heart In San Francisco," while the Mitchel Parish classic "Volare" gets a vibrant treatment with a delicious gyrating Latin rhythm. The Lennon/McCartney standard "Yesterday" comes across in a respectful manner deviating only slightly but remaining true to the melody. One of the true all-time dancing numbers "That's The Way," made popular by KC and The Sunshine Band, is delivered in the same fiery toe-tapping style as the original.
Capturing a slice of music's golden era, "Impact" represent a new take on the popular music of yesterday?bathed with a Latin swing?the big band sound is back with a fury as the RG Royal Sound Orchestra celebrates a command performance of swinging big band music and pays tribute to a rich musical heritage music producer Recaredo Gutierrez immortalizes here.
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