Friday 14 June 2024

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , ,

Mr. Bongo can't be acussed of living in the past as they champion both old and new music equally: but here's a masterstoke with the New Regency Orchestra as they present a dozen hot Latin tracks as their debut album, 'New Regency Orchestra'.


The Guardian (Ed. who?) have apparently got their knickers twisted about the new nostalgia in music (e.g. Northern Soul revivals in Bristol and Deptford, Streaming services and even 80s band superfan cruise ships!).

But this is not a new thing (remember DJ Chris Hill's Glenn Miller Big Band revival in Canvey?) but when there's a new 18-piece Afro-Cuban big band that's re-livng 1950s NYC salsa, mambo and all things Latin, it's time to get ya dance shoes on, hot and sweaty .    

This is not half-baked Kid Creole & The Coconuts tribute but a full on Tito 'The High Preist Of Salsa' Puente BIG band/Fania Allstars comprising some of the London's best jazz musicans envisaged by Lex Blondin (Total Refreshment Centre, Church of Sound) and the mostly instrumental tracks are a proper homage to the period/now and echos the Latin jazzdance scene (Gilles Peterson, Paul Murphy etc) that re-discovered Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker's foresight of hooking up with Machito and Chano Pozo; who were still.colamborating in the 70s.

Whilst there's a heavy dance background to this, it's taken to a modern level with the beautiful feel of 'Scarlet Mambo Hour' and the near modal, 'Sahib & Tito' in contrast to the very busy vocal tracks, 'Papa Boco' and 'Labasta Leigo' and the "Cuban in New York", 'Harlem Jamboree'.

Apparently there are plans for live appearances at festivals this summer which will be totally mad, especially the Blondin re-work of 'Mambo Rama' which reminds me of what Jerry Dammer's was doing with his Spatial AKA Orchestra almost exactly 10 years ago.

Old or new, this is a fantastic album and, for some, a fantastic future journey into some of the best music ever recorded anytime/anywhere.

P.S. In the future, get anything you see by Sahib Shihab - or stream it/him. 

Artist: New Regency Orchestra
Title: New Regency Orchestra
Release date : 14th June, 2024
Label : Mr Bongo
Catalog Number : MRBCDLP307
Format: LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp


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