Para Puente

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British musical chameleon and proponent of all things hip Snowboy has been known to wear many hats. Though the list includes internationally renowned DJ and jazz fusion agitator, he is probably best known as Britain's premier Latin jazz bandleader. Having been passed the torch by former teacher Robin Jones, salsa's U.K. godfather, Snowboy boldly blazes the trail across Europe with his barrier-breaking Afro-Cuban fusion sound. His 2002 release for the Cubop label, Para Puente features the funky arrangements, swinging rhythm section, and jazz fusion attitude that has captured hearts and commanded dancefloors far and wide. Snowboy and his cohorts kick things up a notch from previous releases with impossibly quick tempos, blistering solos, and interesting, folklore-laced arrangements, all performed with seemingly boundless energy. Outside Havana, it is so difficult to make it in the industry playing Afro-Cuban music, and many bands sound disjointed, like groups of hired guns. Snowboy & the Latin Section groove effortlessly, like a single entity, as naturally as breathing. With fat, funky, and yet clear-sounding traditional instruments alongside some daring modern innovations on the standard (B-3 instead of piano and a miniMoog here and there), Para Puente has a truly unique character. For those who love the clave and yet hunger for something different, Snowboy has a record for you. Well, you and Puente.

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