Mezcla

Akimba

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    6
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Mezcla, an eight-piece combo from Havana, joins the Khaeon roster with this hard-hitting but somewhat cluttered live session. While Afro-Cuban jazz and world music are the group's primary influences, the stinging fuzz guitar of leader Pablo Menéndez and the prominent, chopsy electric bass of José Hermida lend a flavor of Southern California fusion -- think Omar Sosa meets Tribal Tech. Carlos Santana, one of the group's more prominent fans, seems to have had an impact on the band as well. Keyboards, multiple horns, and of course percussion round out Mezcla's lineup, as they veer between energetic blowouts like "Isaías" and "2124 Derby" and mellower moods like "Sadness" and "Rumi." Tight renditions of Chucho Valdés' "Mambo Influenciado" and Cachao Lopez's "Buena Vista Social Club" are among the other highlights.

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