Although the band name 801 is associated with the short-lived side project organized by ex-Roxy Music members Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno that played only three concerts in 1976, one of which was recorded for the album 801 Live, Manzanera has used the moniker for other efforts, including naming it as his backup unit on his 1977 tour supporting his solo album Listen Now. That outfit (which Manzanera has immortalized with live albums recorded at Hull and Manchester in the U.K.) at least played some of the repertoire of the original 801. But this album, another live collection recorded in 1999, is entirely different. Don't expect to hear "Baby's on Fire" sung in Spanish just because it's called 801 Latino. In fact, here Manzanera is joined by an entirely Spanish lineup, his guitar mixed in with Augusto Enriquez and Yamile's vocals, Aldo Lopez Gavilan's electric piano, Chucho Merchán's bass, and Carlos Valdez's drums. The justification for using the 801 name seems to be simply that, once again, Manzanera organized a one-off band to do some concerts and no more. They play a set of entertaining Latin rock and pop (including Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Corcovado," aka "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars") with Manzanera simply fitting into the band. It's an entirely appropriate effort for a musician who is the son of a Colombian mother and grew up largely in South and Central America before relocating to England, the land of his father. Listeners will enjoy it, as long as they know what they're getting. The music here is much closer to the Buena Vista Social Club than to Roxy Music.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Augusto Enriquez