Includes liner notes by David Zych.
Personnel: Ed Calle (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Rita Quintero, George Noriega, Wendy Pederson (vocals); Dan Warner (guitar); Doug Emery (strings); Alan Hood, Tony Concepcion, Arturo Sandoval, Jason Carder, Jim Hacker (trumpet); Joe Barati, John Hutchinson, Dana Teboe, John Kricker (trombone); Steve Roitstein (keyboards, synthesizer); Tim Devine (synthesizer, programming); Lee Levin (drums, drum programming); Sam Levine (triangle); Richard Bravo (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Cesar Sogbe.
Recording information: Downtime Studios, Miami, FL.
Arrangers: Ed Calle; Lee Levin ; Steve Roitstein.
The need for pretty album titles can sometimes be a detriment to releases whose music is way too deep, intricate, and explosive for the words to convey.
Saxman Ed Calle's Concord Vista debut has all the intimate sizzle of Gato Barbieri, all the playful percussive joy of Arturo Sandoval (who guests), all the flamenco intimacy of Ottmar Liebert, and all the retro soul of Calle's inspirational heroes Earth, Wind & Fire. Yet the title Sunset Harbor conveys only the easygoing side of the veteran sideman's personality, wonderfully expressed on the tender, sweet, and catchy "Rachel's Song" and "Marianne." The buoyant attitude of the disc is much better conveyed by "Strollin'," which finds Calle revving up for a self-created horn section (by doubling and then tripling his tenor) over an irrepressible Latin groove. "Nightfall" is an appropriate moniker for a Gato-like salsa slow dance with retro soul undercurrents like Jim Gasior's synth-generated Rhodes sound. Calle goes the full hip-hop distance on "Suds," wrapping his tenor and EWI around the same type of keyboard accents and Dan Warner's wah-wah guitar. "San Sebastian" is the centerpiece, however, the musical equivalent of a lazy-paced cantina (flamenco guitar provided by Sandoval's longtime associate Rene Toledo) catching fire with Calle's galloping sax melody and Sandoval's flaming trumpet acting as chief pyromaniacs. Calle's tributes to Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago ("Colour My World") allow him to play before horn sections but have nothing on the dazzling original material he presents. ~ Jonathan Widran