Monterey Jazz Festival

Monterey Jazz 2011: John Santos Sextet

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John Santos leads his sextet at the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival. i i

John Santos leads his sextet at the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival. Cole Thompson/Monterey Jazz Festival hide caption

itoggle caption Cole Thompson/Monterey Jazz Festival
John Santos leads his sextet at the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival.

John Santos leads his sextet at the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival.

Cole Thompson/Monterey Jazz Festival

There's an overtly political edge to John Santos latest recording, Filosofía Caribeña, Vol. 1: It's designed as a commentary on Afro-Latino history. Even if you don't speak Spanish, you could sense it when Santos' sextet performed this material — particularly in the strident, prideful and virtuosically bilingual raps of guest MC Rico Pabón. Jazz's social commentaries are often abstracted into instrumental music; here, it had literal voice.

But just as often, that aggression transmuted to commanding, original grooves, themselves morphing throughout the course of songs. Santos is a Bay Area mainstay, a musical anchor and outspoken ambassador of an active Latin jazz scene only two hours north of Monterey. And he's put together a tight band that works on both intellectual and physical terms, as they showed an excitable Night Club audience on the first night of the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival.


Personnel

  • John Santos, percussion
  • Melecio Magdaluyo, saxophones
  • Dr. John Calloway, flute/piano
  • Marco Diaz, piano/trumpet
  • Saul Sierra, bass
  • David Flores, drums
  • Rico Pabón, spoken word

Credits: Paul Cain, mix engineer.

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