Norma Zenteno may get headliner treatment on the cover, but Calvin Owens deserves equal billing on Es Tu Booty, a full-bodied offering of Latinized big band blues and jazz. A onetime musical director for B.B. King who worked as an arranger at the legendary Duke/Peacock label and A&M studios in Los Angeles, the Houston-bred trumpeter's talents as a bandleader are obvious. And his 12-piece ensemble, Big Blue Sound, produces a whopping modern-day version of the big band blues of Owens' Fifth Ward youth. Owens contacted Zenteno after he'd become increasingly encouraged by how well B.B. King's releases were selling in Spanish-speaking countries. That inspired him to refashion his album That's Your Booty for a south-of-the-border audience. In assembling the music for Es Tu Booty, Zenteno's Spanish vocals were dubbed over a handful of instrumental tracks from the original That's Your Booty. He then combined those cuts with two tunes from another previous release, True Blue, and a few new tunes done in a more Latin vein. Incorporating both English and Spanish lyrics, Es Tu Booty is a dynamic, bilingual summit presided over by Zenteno, Owens, and a capable supporting cast. Owens' Blues Orchestra (aka Big Blue Sound) outdoes itself on numbers such as "Desperte Gritando" and the title track. As for Zenteno's quality pipes, they have little problem accommodating Owens' vision.
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AllMusic Review by Hobart Rowland
feat: Calvin Owens