and his Latin Jazz band is one of the most innovative and swinging
groups that I have heard in a long time. Born in Bolivar, Venezuela
this young man possesses such a wonderful tone on his Saxophone
whether playing the alto or tenor. His father was a classically
trained trumpeter and educator in Venezuela. At the young age
of 13 Robert started to play in the family's trio. At the age
of 15 he began to play in a local Jazz Bossa trio. He later went
on to form his own Jazz group in Caracas where he also had the
good fortune of meeting salsa music legend Oscar De Leon. That
good fortune led Robert Incelli to become Oscar De Leon's musical
director who he toured with for over 4 years. Talk about on the
On a tour stop here in Los Angeles, Robert was caught by romance
and we should consider ourselves so fortunate. Robert got his
blessings from Oscar and decided to relocate. After re-locating
Robert formed his own Latin Jazz group here in Los Angeles and
began to create a stir within the community. The following, he
garnered along with the exciting music he was creating is what
led to this recording. When you listen you will say to yourself
"this can't be his debut, can it?" Well that is what
I said and I was wrong. It is his first outing as a leader and
what a great way to get started. This is a unique recording and
it has more twists and turns than a ride at Disneyland.
Each tune here has it's own appealing quality. The most appealing
aspect is that flutist Gilberto Torres or Pianist Allan Phillips
composed the tunes. "Tamborea" and "Charanga Para
la Pachanga" both start off the mood just right. Both tunes
swing with a fresh clean sound and rhythms. "Super Mambo"
is just that, a great Mambo that gets the body moving with its
fiery horn arrangement. The pretty Cha-Cha based tune "Florecita"
is next and will give you a chance to hear what a great sound
Robert is able to create with his horn. "Ritmo Sabroso"
is a swinging number that is based on the Venezuelan rhythm Gaita.
Check out the inviting coro and superb percussion solos from
Joey De Leon (Congas) and Tiki "Carnitas" Pasillas
(Timbales). If you like the more melodic listen to "Danzon
Melancolico" with it's sweet melody. Nice work from Robert
and pianist Alberto Salas on this one. I like "B.B.Q. Blues"
which was composed as a tribute to Hilton Ruiz and his style
of playing. This tune has a wide range of appeal especially the
straight-ahead Jazz breaks and fine trumpet work. "Descarga
#1" and "From Bolivar to L.A." the title track,
spice things up again with some tight swinging arrangements.
The Brazilian flavored "Recordando a los que se fueron"
and "A phrase for C.P." allow the band to play in a
more relaxed and cool setting. If you love boleros as I do, you
will thoroughly enjoy the tune "Volksgarden" which
highlights the romantic and rich tone of Robertís saxophone.
Truly, an attractive piece of music.
Thank you Tonga Records for allowing this young man to have
an opportunity to share his talents with all of us Latin Jazz
fans. Robert Incelli is a name you will hear for years and years
to come. Just remember one thing: his music is full of ritmo
By Erik Chico Manqueros
Host & Producer of The Latin
Style of Jazz and Contributing writer
Latin Style Magazine, LatinJazzClub.com