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Robert Incelli - Con Mucho Ritmo y Swing


Robert Incelli 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 job training.

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 and swing.

By Erik Chico Manqueros
Host & Producer of The Latin Style of Jazz and Contributing writer
Latin Style Magazine, LatinJazzClub.com

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