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Get ready to dance to this joyous and free-wheeling performance from Los Gatos, Ann Arbor's beloved Latin Jazz band! From the first note of La Malanga to the final shimmering chord of Barquillero, savor the musical energy of mambos, cha-chas, and danzons played with skill and love. Know that you are in the land of fun, the mood of movement and the province of passion. Right on!
Los Gatos has been creating incredible musical experiences since 1998; one can hear in the music their 20 years of fun and camaraderie. Los Gatos is a first-class quintet, due in no small part to their attention to the fine details of every performance and their desire to maintain the highest of musical standards.
Owl DiBlassio's (congero/sonero) lead vocals are honest and effortless; his tenor voice is unique - no copycat, here. Cary Kocher fluently expounds upon the Cal Tjader vibraphone lexicon; Cary also brings his own breath-taking improvisations to the festivities. Pianist Brian DiBlassio displays his expert proficiency and understanding of montuno patterns, syncopating them in his own style to shape and lift the music. Kurt Krahnke channels the legendary Cuban bassist Cachao as he rocks the bottom of the band with a Detroit-centric vibe. Leader Pete Siers is a genuine master timbalero. Although he was born in Saginaw, Michigan, Pete sounds as if he came from Havana, Cuba! His amazing natural feel and sound come from his life-long study and love of this music.
Guarachéate! was recorded at The University of Michigan's state-of-the-art studio in The Duderstadt Center with Jeff Gazdacko and mastered by the esteemed, Grammy-winning engineer Paul Blakemore. With a splendid audio balance, new and intriguing discoveries are made with each listening. The program draws you in and puts you front and center - smack-dab in the middle of this energetic band. This disc is perfectly paced, just as one of Los Gatos' exciting live shows. The hot tempo boogaloo La Malanga leads perfectly in to the cha-cha groove of Que Son Uno, followed by the elegant, delicate, and romantic bolero/ bossa Inquietacao. An Ary Barrosa gem, Inquietacao was arranged in the 1970s by Michigan native Clare Fischer and transcribed for this project by Brian DiBlassio, giving this Brazilian standout some local street cred.
Guarachéate! is classic Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz created and presented with expertise, care and verve by five wonderful musicians named Los Gatos.
Linda Yohn, WEMU 89.1 FM Music Director, 1987-2017
Recorded - 2017 University of Michigan, Duderstadt Center
Produced and Mixed - Pete Siers, Brian DiBlassio
Recording Engineer - Jeff Gazdacko
Assistant Recording Engineer - Shamik Banguly
Mastering - Paul Blakemore
Photos - Jeff Dunn
Graphic Design - Michael P Tanner
Special Thanks - Jeff Gazdacko, Dave Greenspan, Clare Fischer, WEMU Public Radio, Pepe Espinosa, Olman Piedra, Bobby Streng, Jose Calderon (Joe Cuba), Mongo Santamaria. Ron Brooks, Paul Keller, Laura Geldys, Issac Galvan, Marci Iwrey
Gratitude to Brian DiBlassio, "Owl" Diblassio, Kurt Krahnke, Cary Kocher for the pursuance of mastery, musicianship, and attention to detail, Pa Gozar!
Also available from Los Gatos on PKORecords:
Cats Got Your Tongue? 2001