As the fourth release in the Colors of Latin Jazz series, From Samba to Bomba! will appeal to the Latin jazz connoisseur because of its exciting array of compositions that feature the diverse rhythms of a variety of Latin cultures. From the Brazilian samba to the Puerto Rican bomba -- and a number of styles in between, including the ChaChaCha, mambo, soca, charanga, maracatu, and more -- this CD includes the "Mambo King" himself, Tito Puento, playing his hit "Mambo King" from the award-winning Mambo of the Times album issued on Concord Picante. He is the full-on mambo master on this ballroom dance of Cuban origin that gained greater notoriety when it was featured in the movie Mambo Kings. Puento's work on this composition rivals much of his work of the '50s and early '60s in what critics have hailed as his most imaginative Latin musical period, a period that spawned "Dancemania" and "Tambo." The former featured "Mambo Gozon," a volcanic display of his greatness and mastery of the mambo but "Mambo King" encompasses all the greatness of those years and more! The Brazilian rush is realized "Manhattan Style" as Trio Da Paz kicks off this CD with special guests JoAnne Brackeen and Claudio Roditi, an energetic composition issued originally on Brasil From the Inside. Tania Maria lends her breezy scats on "Sangria." A very special Dutch-German favorite adds his innovative global mix to the Brazilian samba with brilliant jazz harmonica played by none other than the exciting Hendrik Muerkens on his "Sambahia." Originally issued on Sambahia by Concord Picante, Hendrik plays with exceptional finesse on an instrument not found often in jazz ensembles. It's a very refreshing blend of harmonic pleasures! Monty Alexander's Ivory & Steel presents the excitement of reggae on "Reggae-Later" from his popular Jamboree. His mastery of this popular music of Jamaican origin that combines his native styles with elements of rock and soul is performed to reggae perfection with Alexander's very hip piano bop stylings accompanied by steel pans and hand drums. This track is a great jam. Ray Barretto, the highly inventive conguero and percussionist, is amazing as he fuels the bomba "Bomba-Riquen." Poncho Sanchez is ablaze on "La Familia" and continues to work his magic on one of the best solos on the CD even though he is generous about sharing the solo limelight. The popular soca played richly by Mongo Santamaria on "Soca Me Nice" and the Afro-Cuban charanga is well imagined by Dave Samuels on "Charanga, Si, Si" with Dave Valentin. They impose no restrictions on your imagination with the sonority of their uncommon Latin flavors. Originally issued on New Horizons, the pair work The Colors of Latin Jazz into an exciting musical palette that is as beautifully vibrant as the rhythms they represent. This exciting CD is a Latin jazz collector's dream.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein