Snowboy Para Puente

Snowboy, along with Robin Jones, has been England's "Corazon Latino" since the original acid jazz days of the mid-'80s and has yet to put out a bad record. The fine folks at Ubiquity have recognised this and have become his patrons of the last few years. This CD sets an even higher standard and every cut absolutely smokes. While this is a homage to the late, great Tito Puente, it's not done in his style, but more as a salute. Like Puente, Snowboy achieves a balance of jazz and dance floor sensibilities, but it's doubtful this could have been achieved by an American artist, other than the ones already on Cubop/Ubiquity's roster. Para Puente is both retro and super contemporary, and the beats are so on point that it could be easily mixed into any house track, but this needs no kick drum thump to be compelling. His bass lines are strongly evocative of the impulses behind disco and house (check out "Barrago" for a totally garage-ish bass line) but are still purely Latin jazz. The soloists here each blow fiery and complex, but not showy, turns, while the production is superb, hard hitting and not polite in the slightest. Recommended for fans and novices alike! (Cubop)