in-depth review by Timba Loco Kevin Moore, complete with
here (opens in a new window).
multifaceted, funky dance masterpiece that helps to define this
new era of Cuban dance music. It's club-ready, dance floor-filling
This, folks, just may be the sleeper hit of the Summer of 2003.
Not to be missed. Very Highly Recommended." By Bruce Polin
(opens in a new window).
a bilingual revew by Jacira Castro at SalsaPower.com
(opens in a new window).
music has been played on Mp3.com over 400,000 times, going on half
a million by now, because this Cuban music SWINGS. It combines traditional
rhythms with some more aggressive elements, such as keyboard sounds
and R&B influences." By Ben Ohmart at La
Ritmo.com (opens in a new window).
Javier Rivera at OasisSalsero.com: "Bill Wolfer
tuvo una idea. Reunir los mejores musicos del genero Timba y hacer
una produccion de calidad. Los amantes de la Timba no estaran decepcionados
al oir lo que sera el mejor album de Timba de este año. Gracias
a la colaboracion de Giraldo Piloto y su Klimax, Cesar Pedroso,
Julio Padron, Manolito Simonet y Sixto Llorente. Te dejaran agotados
por la energia que te absorbera esta produccion.
"Con temas instrumentales pero las que te
haran gozar son las sessiones en La Habana donde la candela se prende
cuando los metales comeinzan a hablar.
"Yo que no soy fanatico de esta onda Cubana,
he hecho un giro de 180 grados al escuchar la ferocidad y sentimiento
de este bandon. Wolfer debe ser encomendado por reunir estos leones
musicales y producir un trabajo excepcional. (JR)"
Por Mariela Di Mauro en RosarioSalsa.com
"Es evidente que en Mamborama
están presentes tanto el son cubano como la descarga, la
timba y el songo, pero también se denotan evidencias del
latin jazz americano, lo que hace de este grupo un Mambo inigualable...
"Si hablamos de mambo... hablamos
Here's a review by Michael Peters at Salsa.de
in the original German here,
or translated by Google here
(opens in a new window).
And from Italy, Stefano Santini reviews
the CD at MeetingLatino.it,
and is translated by Google here.
Manolito Y Su Trabuco
playing Latin Jazz like this!"
Los Angeles, California
By Ben Ohmart
Bill Wolfer, Grammy-nominated
songwriter/producer, and now pianist for Mamborama, wanted 'this
cd to sound so Cuban you could smell the cigars'. The man got his
wish. If the word Mambo actually translates to 'never sit down',
Wolfer has grabbed at your pants with about 10 musicians and they
aren't letting you go.
It's only track 2, but by the
time you get to 'Ritmo Rico', and by the time the 6.5 minute swing
piece ends, you could be plumb tuckered. 'Nadie Sabe' is up next,
and it dances all the way to your lover. Though you might want to
sit this one out. The romance it exudes isn't intrusive with high
horns and horse racing rhythms. Wolfer's cool jazz-extended solo
makes half of 6 minutes fly by without breaking your neck.
Progressively slowing up so
that even the old folks can dance, 'La Noche en Habana' pulls the
whole notes out of the horns and sets the piano up for chords rather
than hustling scales, letting you venture into the romantic mood
first before you buy. It's the song you want to use to slip closer
to your lover's neck. The hips will still move, but you can grab
your woman with both hands and sink into the beautiful melody together.
Uh oh. Strike that. It's heating up. Old man, go sit down.
51 minutes seem longer when
there's so much jammed in there. Rod Kokolj on tenor sax and Humberto
'Nengue' Hernandez are especially prolific when their moments come
to shine. Of course for Hernandez, he isn't given the chance to
By Danilo Nava
Pianist, composer and producer
Bill Wolfer gets deep into Cuban music with "Night of the Living
Mambo." But not without adding his own interpretations and giving
to the arrangements a distinct sense of originality. With all compositions
penned by Wolfer, Mamborama's debut cd give us powerful, up-tempo
performances, showcasing experienced players who know how to create
More than jazz, this is a modern
-yet close to the roots- approach to Cuban-American music. Very
rhythmical and appealing. Besides the quality of interpretation,
the technical aspect of the recording is remarkable.
By Bruce Polin
Editors Pick: Here is
a no-nonsense, helluva lotta fun, get up and dance, mambo-jazz release
from this west-coast band which includes some of our favorite players
like flautist Arty Webb and violinista Susie Hansen. Excellent compositions
by pianist Bill Wolfer.
By Bruce Ishikawa
California pianist Bill Wolfer
diverted from the pop songwriting roots which earned him a Grammy
nomination to fool around with Latin music. He started out part
time, “just for fun” and got hooked. He travelled to Cuba to study
with Manolito Simonet and Marcos Greco of Klimax, then once he had
put together enough tunes he went into an LA studio to record “Night
of the Living Mambo”. The striking thing about this album is that
there are no lead vocals. There is a coro on many tunes, but horns
play the lead lines. Wolfer calls this a “Latin jazz” group, but
what the listener hears sounds like nearly pure Cuban music. The
sound was “Cubanized” when Wolfer brought in an all-Cuban percussion
section of conguero Nengue Hernandez, timbalero Jimmy Branley and
drummer Alan Diaz. Rounding out the core band are Bill Saitta on
Bass, Ron Kokolj on woodwinds, John Gronberg and Luis Eric blowing
trumpets and Wolfer driving the piano. Flautist Art Webb and our
friend Suzy Hansen on that smokin’ violin make guest appearances
on several tunes. “Night of the Living Mambo” is a fine example
of what someone with a bit of imagination can do to inject new life
into fairly traditional musical forms to come up with something
special that no one has heard before.
By Erik Chico Manqueros
Host & Producer of The Latin Style of Jazz
Contributing writer Latin Style Magazine
Are you ready for some hot,
tasty Latin Jazz? Sure you are. Are you ready to move and groove
to the hip swinging sounds of a new group called MamboRama? I am
highly convinced that once you hear this talented new group you
will definitely be hooked. This debut recording from Mamborama is
just what you need.
Being a Host of a Latin Jazz
radio program, I am very fortunate to come across great recordings
weekly. I especially enjoy hearing self-produced projects. In my
opinion these recordings are some of the best due to the artist
being able to stretch out and have fun. These guys as you will see
are having some fun and then some.
Latin Jazz has enjoyed resurgence
in recent times and the music has become popular worldwide. The
hip and sophisticated sounds of Jazz mixed with pulsing Latin rhythms
and Latin percussion makes our music (Latin Jazz) irresistible.
I mean what is better than hearing the groove of a sweet melodic
Cha-Cha or a driving Mambo? Not much. Speaking of Mambos, you will
hear some very hip swinging stuff here. This is not the synthetic
type but the real deal! From the opening number "Cuba Te Llama"
you will be convinced.
What makes this such a great
recording, note the word great, is that this is all original material.
Leader and Pianist Bill Wolfer, delivers some wonderful hard driving
material here. Complimented with a group of seasoned and well-tuned
musicians this recording is destined to become a Latin Jazz classic.
Check out the gorgeous mambo "Nadie Sabe" and the grooving
Cha Cha "La Noche en Habana" you will be toe-tapping in
no time flat. Keep your dancing chanclas ready though the rest of
the CD swings! The suave "Ritmo Rico" and "Chocolate"
will inspire you. L.A. Latin Jazz legend, Susie Hansen lends hear
musical touch on a few tracks and she cooks.
The CD also features a strong
percussion section headed up by Humberto "Nengue" Hernandez
on Congas and Various percussion. Alan Diaz on drums is solid throughout
and I was very impressed by the Timbalero, Jimmy Branly. Although,
I have not heard of him previous to this recording I know that this
guy can play! Bill Saitta on bass is also very impressive.
The solid horn section of Rod
Kokolj on Tenor Sax and Flute along with John Gronberg Trumpet,
Flugelhorn and Luis Eric heard on trumpet on a few tracks, who incidentally
is heard on the new Cuba L.A. recording DOS, will have you asking
for more. A personal favorite of mine and long time Latin Jazz legend,
Artie Webb is also on the disc and is a wonderful compliment to
this swinging group.
Well what else can be said?
I am not much for clichés especially the ones you have seen
on liner notes that say "Check this out" or "Play
it loud." However, in the Case of MamboRama I would have to
say yes "Play it loud and Check it out." Take it from
me after the first note I was hooked. Enjoy.
Keep Enjoying Latin Jazz!
Erik Chico Manqueros
Host & Producer: The Latin Style of Jazz
Contributing writer, Latin Style Magazine