Waxin' Your Ears - SONANDO Earshot Jazz Oct 1994Somewhere in Seattle, far from the workaday world, lies an island paradise. Palm trees grow there. People sing and dance, filling their homes with joy. From this enchanted place comes the music of Sonando.
Those who know Sonando will rejoice at the release of this CD, their first since 1991. Those who don't, will be swayed by it's Latin American rhythms, strong horn work, engaging original songs and artful arrangements.
Fred Hoadley (piano), Miguel Garrido (bass) and percussionists Tom Bergersen, Lary Barilleau and Junior Medina provide a solid yet fluidly shifting rhythmic base for the melodic forays of multi-instrumentalists Jay Thomas and Jim Coile, who bring the colors of trumpet, soprano sax, flugelhorn, tenor and alto saxes, flute, piccolo and alto flute to the music. With the occasional addition of Scott Brown's trombone and Denny Stern's congas, Sonando weaves a tapestry of sound, always tasteful and bright, never garish.
Thomas provides most of the firepower with an extroverted, brilliant trumpet sound and graceful lines. Coile's sax work tends toward introspection but stands tall with Thomas at the front line; his flute work and a delightful piccolo solo treat the listener to the lighter side of his nature. Hoadley plays conservatively and sparsely but acquits himself with some lively, if not passionate, solos.
Special kudos are due Miguel Garrido. Never in the spotlight, his perfectly and subtly accented bass lines nevertheless infuse with much of it's Latin spirit and provide a rhythmic anchor for his band mates, soloists and rhythmists alike. The band would not click without him.
Of the originals, standouts are Hoadley's "Pupi," with great horn lines and drama, and Barilleau's enchanting "Carmen's Mambo." "Sequoya," one of two pieces by Thomas, approaches greatness with it's unexpected, turn-on- a- dime mood shifts-a perfect summer day suddenly obscured by a micro-thunderburst, just as suddenly crowned with a glorious rainbow. Such is life.
Come to the island. More pleasures await you. It's only as far as a trip to your local record store. Life is sweet there. (Ernie Saylor)