Los Hombres Calientes – "Vol. 3 New Congo Square" – Basin Street Records – 2001
With Bill Summers on percussion and Irvin Mayfield on trumpet leading an all-star cast of musicians and guests, though this is the first album that Jason Marsalis is no longer with the band on drums, “New Congo Square” highlights New Orleans place as a crossroad of cultures and music – especially African inspired rhythms that came to life in Congo Square.
The album paints New Orleans as a palm-covered Caribbean city, a next door neighbor to Havana, Cuba, a sister city to Kingston, Jamaica, moves easily through multiple genres – Latin, salsa, brass band, reggae, funk, and jazz.
This album is a history lesson.
Hot horns and funky percussion percolate and punctuate the recording and brilliantly moves through so many styles and sounds that fit together like a nice puzzle of African influences in New Orleans music. (I won’t use gumbo as a metaphor since it is the city’s worst writing cliché.) The genius of the recording is melding all of the styles into a wondrous listening tour through African and New Orleans sounds.