Personnel: Poncho Sanchez (congas, bata, lead vocals), Gene Burkert (saxophone), Sal Cracciolo (trumpet, flugelhorn), Art Velasco (trombone, vocals), Charlie Otwell (piano), Tony Banda (bass, vocals), Tito Puente (timbales), Ramon Banda (timbales, bata, drums), Jose "Papo" Rodriguez (bongos).
Poncho Sanchez's long string of recordings for the Concord Picante label are all easily recommended to fans of Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz. On this fine effort, Sanchez's octet welcomes guest Tito Puente (heard on timbales) to "Ti-Pon-Pa" and "Lover, Come Back to Me." Otherwise, one hears Sanchez's regularly working band, a group that features trumpeter Sal Cracchiolo, trombonist Arturo Velasco, the reeds of Gene Burkert, pianist Charlie Otwell, bassist Tony Banda and three percussionists; several songs have group vocals. Otwell contributed five spirited originals, which are joined by such numbers as Cal Tjader's "Soul Burst," "Will You Still Be Mine" and a medley of "Cold Sweat" and "Funky Broadway." Accessible and very danceable music that is also creative within the boundaries of the popular idiom. ~ Scott Yanow