Trombonist, composer, and arranger Chris Washburne originally conceived this second CD with the Syotos Band as a tribute to Latin jazz impresario Tito Puente. However, the great bandleader passed away before the project could get underway, so Washburne decided to record both his original compositions and several of Puente's for The Other Side. Nine excellent compositions form this great set with some of the best Latin jazz players on the New York scene. Several special guests join Washburne, including the dynamic Ray Vega, the former musical director of Tito Puente's band. Washburne's broad range of influences are fully present in his excellent trombone solo on "Titorama." Vega's powerful answers to John Walsh's trumpet calls are enough reason to take to the aisles and dance. "Mamborama," written by Puente in the early '60s, is re-arranged with an action adventuresque vamp and Washburne's bluesy, bebop solo that offers a host of surprises. George Cory's composition, "Deep Song," is a true reference to the other side of the leader's musicality. This standard, recorded originally by Billie Holiday, forms the emotional essence of the CD with its affecting introduction that segues into a Cuban guajira. Overall, this CD tops Washburne's debut, Nuyorican Nights, because of his deep, rich trombone essence, the band's very tight rhythm section, the excellent percussion magic of Bobby Sanabria, and the awesome horn charts and trumpet playing of Ray Vega, his sincere dedication to the memory of the great Tito Puente.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein