...Sajaso played a hot set at Zydeco in Raleigh two weeks ago (8/1). Frank Vila was just cutting loose into a keyboard solo as I walked in late, somewhere near the end of the second set. So eager was I to get in, that I inadvertently by-passed the collection of door fees. So joyful was I to be there, once inside, that I gladly paid the $5 cover when called to my attention. A mere pittance to hear a good piano solo.
It was well worth staying for the third and final set, lots of dancers had turned out, relative to this jazz club venue. Serena Wiley plays a classy saxophone, with solos that reveal her jazz background; Andy Kleindienst wielded an electric bass that evening, rather than his usual trombone, subbing for Jade-Lin Chue. Leader Chino Casiano's's vocals were robust as usual, and well-balanced with the rest of the band. If memory serves, Ramon Ortiz, Jaime Roman, Jose Sanchez and Brevan Hampden were among the rhythm section.
It wasn't that Sajaso had gone out on a limb, or buffed their Cuban standards and meaty Eddie Palmieri charts to a high finish; this was just down and dirty salsa. Sometimes, the vibe is just on.