JACK COSTANZO — Back From Havana

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4.90 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2001


1. Descaraga.com (4:30)
2. La la La (4:52)
3. En la Noche (4:17)
4. Jive Samba (5:11)
5. Mantaquilla (5:04)
6. Milestones (5:32)
7. Quimbara (6:27)
8. Nana Sere (4:04)
9. Airegin (6:11)
10. Montiki (4:02)
11. Te Quiero Te Quiero (4:15)
12. Trompeta y Bongo (4:41)
13. Jack's Back (3:20)
14. Work Song (4:01)
15. Going Home (1:29)

Total Time: 68:01


Jack Costanzo (congas);
Marilu (vocals);
Jorge Camberos (guitar);
Steve Feierabend (tenor saxophone);
Bob Campbell (baritone saxophone);
Gilbert Castellanos (trumpet);
April West, Bob Johnston (trombone);
Bobby Matos (congas, guiro, percussion);
Steve Haney (claves, percussion)

About this release

CuBop ‎– CBCD 028 (US)

Recording information: 2000

Thanks to snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Twenty Five years since "Jack Costanzo" released his last album and out comes "Back From Havana" with an explosion of energy that must have been slowly building in Jack over that time as this is one Afro Cuban scorcher to say the least with some old latin classics,a few jazz classics and a few current originals from Jack, "Bobby Matos" the album producer and the trumpet player "Gilbert Castellanos". "Leonard Feather" the Jazz critic gave Jack his nick name back in the late 1940's being "Mr Bongo" which he really is as Jack was the other original with "Chano Pozo" to bring Cuban rythmn to the masses after he had his break in 1947 by joining "Stan Kenton's" band. He has played with them all from "Charlie Parker","Miles Davis","Nat King Cole Trio" "Frank Sinatra" and even the "Supremes". Jack has also appeared in many movies as well as teaching some absolute Hollywood legends from the fifties such as "James Dean","Gary Cooper" and "Marlon Brando" just to name a few the finer art of Bongo and Conga slappin' but as they say in the ads, "but wait there is more" as he even appeared with "Elvis Presley" and contributed to one of the most unforgettable television themes being the Lalo Schifrin composition "Mission Impossible". Strangely he was born in Chicago not Cuba as the rythmn is is truly part of Jack Costanzo's mould which he clearly demonstrates with this album of driving quick percussion on either Bongo ar Conga drums. "Marilu" a female vocalist who originates from Panama sings all the lead vocals on four of the tracks with the remaining eleven being all instrumentals. The presence of "Bobby Matos" who plays conga himself and contributes here and there throughout musically also produced the album perfectly with a superb contempary latin touch and actually Bobby was releasing albums with the same company Cu-Bop at the time. Special mention must go to "Gilbert Castellanos" who not only gives us a wonderful demonstration on trumpet in a beautiful high latin style he also penned two of the songs. You better clip youself to a rail on the deck of this yacht as you are heading into a Latin Jazz hurricane.

"Descarga.com" is the first with some great piano from "Lynn Willard" who is present for the majority of the album with solos on trumpet, tenor and baritone saxophones and percussion all preceeding and what a rocket of a number. Things do not slow down but actually pick up for the next with blazing horns, stunning electric guitar lead break, Jack giving us one on Conga and Marilu with the coros giving one energetic effort on vocals with the song "La La La". Jazz and Cha Cha with a touch of Boogaloo are what is present in the following instrumental "En La Noche". "Jive Samba" the Nat Adderley tune is given a superb latin flavoured rendition with every solo a winner with some terrific tenor from"Steve Feierabend", the other trumpet player on the album "Bill Cabellero" lays down a beauty with Jack giving us another on Congas. Another Nat tune is also present being "Work Song as well as "Milestones" by Miles and the Sonny Rollin's classic "Airegun" and all given the "Jack Costanzo" express latin treatment with wonderful results. Only one Bolero which is "Te Quiero Te Quiero" and Marilu sings it with great passion and with the addition of Strings to the band it really is a great contempary sounding Bolero with those notes hitting the highs in the chorus. The song is a little high point providing quite a nice counter point for the album and Jack and Bobby deciding to use just the one Bolero makes the song stand out beautifully. There are fifteen songs of all varieties within Jazz on "Back to Havana" but all are pure Cuban based by rythmn and even the improvised quick spontaneous songs as in "Jacks Back" and the closer "Going Home" the Latin spice is always there.I cannot forget to mention that this is one tight outfit that particapated in the band with some stunning instrumental work that keeps the standard up for the entire album.

One of the best contempary Afro Cuban based Latin Jazz albums to come out with this year 2011 being the tenth birthday of "Back To Havana's" release and it is still one of the top Hurricanes in Latin Jazz currently.

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