A La Carte serves up a New Orleans street band marinated with a hot salsa percussion section. The brass section stomps like the Dirty Dozen and moans like a Bourbon Street funeral. Led by Santana’s Gali Sanchez, the percussion anchors the celebration with impact and fire. A La Carte’s repertoire is a danceable mixture of jazz and pop—everything from a funk and salsa rendition of “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” to Lee Morgan’s “Sidewinder”. This recording’s “…so real you can tell what the trumpet players ate for lunch,” according to Stereophile. A Fi SuperDisc.
1. Papa Was A Rolling Stone (N. Whitfield, B. Strong) -Listen to Sample
2. Tipitina (Professor Longhair)
3. That Mellow Saxaphone (Montrell, Marascalco, Blackwell) -Listen to Full Song
4. After The Rain (John Coltrane)
5. Canto Para Elegua (Yoruba Traditional)
6. Sidewinder (Lee Morgan) -Listen to Sample
7. Calcutta Cutie (Horcace Silver)
8. Who Do Da Voodoo? (Mark Taylor)
9. Blues A La Carte (Jim Roberts)
10. Cantaloupe Island (Herbie Hancock)
11. Lucy I'm Home (H.Adamson, E.Daniel)
Last, but far from least, is the À La Carte Brass and Percussion - a group that lists some 14 brass players and percussionists, not to mention two guest vocalists, in its credits. It's a rocking ensemble, and the title tells you exactly what you're going to get: everything from swamp funk to Coltrane's After the Rain. The disc opens with a rompin', stompin' Papa Was a Rolling Stone that - complete with mock-operatic vocal - sounds stunningly real. I've been playing this for manufacturers when they come by to install equipment: every one of ïem jumps for the disc and writes down its name, muttering "Gotta get this one for the Show!" It's so direct and vivid that it can blow out candles - hell, it's so real you can tell what the trumpet players ate for lunch. Pretty spooky. -from Quarter Notes by Wes Phillips
First you smile, maybe even let out a surprised laugh. They may be a riot, but they sure ain't no joke. These wild and talented players have mixed a tuba-bottomed New Orleans brass band with a Latin percussion section. It gets even deeper: The material includes Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Coltrane's After The Rain, Professor Longhair's Tipitina, and Theme From I Love Lucy. They rock, they stroll, they swing, they funk it up.
Led by ex-Santana member Galì Sanchez, the percussion section boils over when flaming congas, timbales, and cow-bells meet a New Orleans marching snare and bass drum. There's a marvelous "Why Not?" artistry to the whole lively disc. Gumbo picante anyone? -Jeff Potter
If ever an album title deserved to be capped with an exclamation point, it's Boogeyin'! the new recording by A La Carte Brass and Percussion band. Unpredictable as it is spirited, the disc is subtitled Swamprock, Salsa &'Trane, but even that billing somehow seems insufficient given the way the 12-piece band enthusiastically embraces Motown classics, New Orleans R&B polyphony and rhythmic grooves, guest star (and go-go-king) Chuck Brown, and even the I Love Lucy television theme. In addition to the curious tune choices, there are surprises to be found in the casting - Brown, for example, belts out the old Crescent City chestnut That Mellow Saxophone - and in the frequently shifting moods. For all the band's brassy exuberance and Afro-Caribbean thrust - the very qualities that make That Mellow Saxophone and Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder so hard to resist - the album is also graced by arrangements that blend the soulful and the sublime. Of these, none is more striking than the group's dark and sonorous reading of John Coltrane's After the Rain, a performance richly enhanced by Gary Johnson's tenor sax. -Mike Joyce