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Poncho Sanchez
Published July 31, 2005

Poncho At Montreux
Concord Picante

The acclaimed Latin conga drummer, percussionist and vocalist Poncho Sanchez is the subject of this live concert honoring the 30th anniversary of Concord Records. An Afro-Cuban jazz traditionalist who apprenticed with the late vibist Cal Tjader during the ’70s and ’80s before launching his own bands, the fiery, bearded Sanchez is featured on seven tunes recorded in 2003 at the Swiss festival. The DVD complements a two-CD set and boasts superb sound and picture quality; the band’s performances (including standards like “One Mint Julep” and “Watermelon Man” and a raving take on James Brown’s “Out Of Sight”) are stellar. Biographical/interview segments and tributes from peers break up the set but not to the point of distraction.