The sounds of the Latin Big Bands of the 1950’s blends with the Great American Songbook on Yolanda Duke Manny Moods, an album dedicated to four legends of Latin music, Tito Puente, Mario Rivera, Bobby Rodriguez and Ralphy Barbosa.
Some arrangements like the ones on Cole Porter “What is this things called love?”, Gershwin “They can’t take that away from me” and Stevie Wonder “Till you come back to me” (some might remember this song in the voice of Basia) have the distinct flavor and danceable rhythms of Afro Caribbean music. Others like Porter “I’ve got you under my skin” and Rodgers “Blue Moon” wonderfully explores aspects of both, Latin music and swing. Errol Garner “Misty” receive a more traditional jazz arrangement.
The album also includes a Spanish version of Johnny Mercer “That Old Black Magic”, a wonderful medley of songs by Puerto Rican singer Myrta Silva, and the Rafael Hernández beautiful bolero “Muchos Besos”. Hernandez is maybe the best composer in the history of Puerto Rican music. Miguel Zenón includes two of his compositions on his album Alma Adentro.
Many Moods was recorded with the excellent Tito Puente Orchestra.
Tracks: 1. What Is This Thing Called Love (Guaguanco Jazz); 2. Under My Skin (Swing Rumba); 3. La Peleona (Guaracha); 4. Myrta Silva’s Medley (Bolero); 5. They Can’t Take That Away From Me (Cha Cha); 6. Oh God, I Love You (Salsa); 7. Misty (Slow Swing); 8. Muchos Besos (Bolero Cha Cha); 9. Blue Moon (Cha Cha); 10. The Hungry Years (Ballad); 11. Til You Come Back To Me (Cha Cha); 12. That Old Magic (Mambo).
Personnel: Robert Chauson, Lanny Payking, Antoine Silverman, Juliet Haffner, Paul Peabody, Anja Wood, Belinda Whitney (strings); Bobby Porcelli (flute, alto saxophone); Peter Brainin, Mitch Frohman, Todd Bashore (flute, tenor saxophone); Pete Miranda (baritone saxophone); Pete Nater, Kevin Bryan , Richie Viruet, John Walsh (trumpet); Reynaldo Jorge, Sam Burtis, Lewis Kahn, Noah Bless (trombone); Champian Fulton, Sonny Bravo (piano); Willie Martinez (drums); John Rodriguez (bongos, guiro, percussion, bell); Jose Madera (timbales); Claudette Sierra, Jennifer Martinez, Franky Vázquez, Cita Rodriguez, Marcos Bermudez (background vocals).
Yolanda Duke – Official website: www.yolandaduke.com/
Label: Amigos Music
Release date: April 2010
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre