NPR logo

Listen Now: Club John Santos Sextet In Concert

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/140611693/140643019" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Monterey Jazz 2011: John Santos Sextet

Monterey Jazz Festival

Monterey Jazz 2011: John Santos Sextet

Listen Now: Club John Santos Sextet In Concert

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/140611693/140643019" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

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

toggle caption Cole Thompson/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.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.