Manteca Onward!

Manteca Onward!
Toronto’s jazz fusionists Manteca, named after the famous Dizzy Gillespie tune, play buttery grooves with various spicy elements sprinkled throughout. Onward!, the group’s first studio record since 1991, is consistent with the world beat material of the jazz collective’s earlier efforts. With plenty of fresh compositions employing the use of baritone sax, alto flute, trombone, pennywhistle (and, even kookier, the Electronic Wind Instrument), the disc takes a new direction from the "lot of the salsa, samba and funk territory of our early years [that’s] now being covered so well by others,” according to percussionist and leader Matt Zimbel (also the disc’s producer), who brought together guest composers like Montuno Police member Gordon Sheard to help create new music for the "ensemble within the ensemble.” The flamenco-laced "Pentamento,” the funk’n’soul cooker "To a Tee” and even cuts like the vibraphone jammy "Go Train” and moody album closer "Gabriel’s Wish” make the diverse collection a curious pleasure to throw on the stereo. (Independent)