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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 6, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 01
A Dyke About Town: The fabulous Poncho Sanchez
Arts & Entertainment
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A Dyke About Town: The fabulous Poncho Sanchez

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Poncho Sanchez
Reality joined Mercy for Poncho Sanchez at Jazz Alley on December 28 so Cuteness could have a quiet night at home. Sanchez' congas were phenomenal and his voice strong. Reality pointed out one of Poncho's skills is playing against the rhythm.

David Torres' piano was outstanding. Ron Blake's trumpet was delicious. Javier Vergara's alto and tenor saxophone and flute were luscious. Francisco Torres' trombone was lively.

Sanchez said the first time he had come to Jazz Alley was with the Cal Tjader band in 1975. Reality whispered, 'The performers we are seeing are graying along with us.'

Mercy said, 'You can tell Poncho really respects his musicians.'

Reality said, 'With justification. They are all excellent.'

Reality liked to watch the dancers. 'Brown and Blue,' the opening number, had a slow, compelling salsa beat. Conga, piano, and trombone were featured. Sanchez's and Blake's solos informed the standard 'Yesterdays.'

'Ven Pa Bailar' returned to the upbeat and featured trumpet and trombone. Poncho said 'Ven Pa Bailar' was Spanish for 'Ven Pa Bailar.'

'Guachi Guara' stayed at the fast pace, and focused on conga, trumpet, piano, and trombone. Multiple rhythms were the basis of 'Half and Half.' Conga, sax, and keyboards informed that song. Reality said, 'The piano is functioning as another percussion instrument.'

'A Time for Love' was slow and lush and focused on piano, conga, and sax. Reality said, 'That sax was sweet.'

A Mark Levine song, 'Keeper of the Flame,' returned to the upbeat and featured Vergara, Torres, and Sanchez. 'Sonando' was slow and rhythmic and focused on trumpet and conga.

'Guaripumpe' returned to the fast pace and featured congas and trumpet. 'Watermelon Man' was also fast. Everyone soloed. The audience gave the band an earned standing ovation. Their encore, 'Prestame tu Corazon,' was one of their most popular songs and also featured everyone.

Coco Montoya
Mercy enjoyed very much seeing Coco Montoya at the Triple Door on New Year's Eve. Cuteness loved them and thought they were a great band. She liked how positive Coco was about his band mates, and a story he told about playing in clubs when he was so young it was illegal. Mercy liked the fact that Montoya talked about it being special to have his wife there. They have been together for two years.

Montoya's voice was powerful. His guitar playing was superlative. Pianist Brant Leeper knocked Mercy out. She admired the way the two jammed back and forth in the evening of blues.

'Live for Today' opened upbeat. 'There's Something About You, Baby,' 'Running Away From Love,' and 'No More Making Plans' stayed there. 'The One That Really Loves You' was slow and smooth. 'Annie Mae' went back to the fast pace.

Lee Oskar, a hero of Coco's, visited and played his out-there harmonica. 'Just Like Me' and 'Can't See the Streets for My Tears,' songs that included Lee, were slow and slinky. The encore, 'Am I Losing You,' stayed there. It was Cuteness' favorite song.

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