Cuarteto de Saxofones de Santiago

Brass instruments are certainly no stranger to Latin music, but this saxophone quartet from Cuba is bound to make you take notice. There is certainly an homage to ensembles like The World Saxophone Quartet at work here, with a choppy Afro-jazz clearly at the center of the group's work. But they also find both a beauty and a humor in doing local styles in this configuration. "Zapeteo" gives the players a chance to arrange a Cuban dance tune into an all-brass conjunto that borders on a Looney-tune theme, while the highly rhythmic "Rumba High Seas" takes the same idea and makes it into challenging new jazz. They also offer some romance in their covers of Lennon and McCartney's "Michelle" and close with an absolutely steamy rendition of Jerome Kern's "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes." - CF

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