Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kitty Mambos and Carnaval Time

New news from La Perla del Sur, our Ponce to the north, aka Richmond, VA: Bio Ritmo rolled out two new repertory items Tuesday night (2/23) at a free show at Balliceaux.

Pianist Marlysse Rose Simmons solos on "Dina's Mambo," a new instrumental she wrote. Reminiscent of other camel-backed Bio Ritmo instrumentals that mix Middle Eastern sonorities and mariachi brass, this tune sounds like something Calexico might do:

Black and white like the piano keys, "Dina" is Marlysse's cat, as I discovered later that when I crashed at her place.

Bio Ritmo @ Balliceaux 2/23/10

(click on photos to see larger)


Adding propulsion to this evening was a new Cortijo cover, "Carnaval." It's extremely rare that Bio Ritmo plays covers, and when they do, they give it their own affectionate twist. This is one of the main things that sets Bio Ritmo apart from your Average Salsa Band.

Giustino Riccio, who normally stands at the timbales, sat down to play the full drum set for these two numbers, which led off the second set.

Bio Ritmo @ Balliceaux 2/23/10



(click on photos to see larger)

tenor trombone

The "new" brass section of JC Kuhl, "Mambo" Bob Miller and Toby Whitaker is really melding together nicely, although Toby says he misses playing with two trombones. "Mambo" Bob's leadership on trumpet is surely decisive in maintaining the clarity and surefootedness of the horns.

I let Toby get all up in my grill with his tenor trombone (or was it vice versa?) as I got in close to take this video of Giustino doing a timbales solo. The horns also take a series of solo blasts:

The lighting in this restaurant is designed for dining, so I apologize for the lack of visual detail in the videos; please refer to photos and use videos as a soundtrack.

People Get Ready: Bio Ritmo plays the Pour House in Raleigh May 6.

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