Bandleader and champion congueroPoncho Sanchez heads up a Latin jazz outfit whose lineage runs back through Mongo Santamaria and Tito Puente to Cal Tjader. Sanchez learned the ropes while playing in Tjader's band for seven years, then after his mentor's death he launched his own band, grounded in salsa and Latin jazz but with an expansive scope that includes the soul and R&B stuff Sanchez grew up with in Southern California. In fact, his latest album, Raise Your Hand (Concord Picante), reprises the glory days of Stax Records with Latin-laced versions of the title track and "Knock on Wood," both featuring Stax stalwarts Eddie Floyd, Booker T. Jones, and Steve Cropper. Sax great Maceo Parker also guests on a rousing version of "Shotgun" as well as a percolating dose of salsa-drizzled soul written by Sanchez's trombonist Francisco Torres. Elsewhere Sanchez and his formidable band turn up the heat on a classic Latin jazz sound with bristling rhythms and blazing horns.
Wed., Nov. 12, 8 p.m., 2008