Hombres Calientes, Vol. 3: New Congo Square

Hombres Calientes, Vol. 3: New Congo Square

by Los Hombres Calientes: Irving Mayfield & Bill Summers

This is the third album from Los Hombres Calientes, and the first since the departure of the group's most famous member, drummer Jason Marsalis. His absence is conspicuous from the first glance at the album cover, which is graced only by the two remaining hombres, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and percussionist …  See more details below


This is the third album from Los Hombres Calientes, and the first since the departure of the group's most famous member, drummer Jason Marsalis. His absence is conspicuous from the first glance at the album cover, which is graced only by the two remaining hombres, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and percussionist Bill Summers. In small print reads, "Introducing Horacio 'El Negro' Hernandez", the new drummer, who needs no introduction to serious jazz fans, as he's become one of the most sought-after Latin and straight-ahead players on the scene. Because Los Hombres Calientes earned such tremendous critical acclaim with their previous record, a personnel change could be seen as threatening to their momentum. But Hernandez does a superb job filling the void left by Marsalis. Marsalis' departure, in addition, seems to foster more spotlight time for Mayfield, both as a player and composer. (It bears mentioning that Mayfield's writing for this group is more creative and independent-minded than the acoustic jazz he's released thus far under his own name.) The group's music has grown more ambitious, encompassing a wide variety of Latin and Caribbean influences as well as the heritage of its New Orleans home base. The intention of this album is in fact to illuminate the cultural connection between New Orleans and the other countries where the band recorded: Cuba, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Putting real weight behind the maxim that music is the universal language, the band recruited a host of guest instrumentalists and vocalists from all these locales, revolving around a core band that includes bassist Edwin Livingston and pianists Victor Atkins and Ronald Markham. While the recording locations are all listed, they are not matched with specific tracks -- and as the liner notes reveal, this was a conscious decision, a further attempt to blur national boundaries and engage the listener's imagination. Perhaps there's bound to be some unevenness in such a polyglot project. The reggae portion seems a bit too obvious, with "Jah Rastafarai" chucking along for a superficial three minutes and Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" sounding like a throwaway cover. But "Nyabingi," a one-minute fragment featuring Prince Tibba on vocals and repita drum, is fascinating. So is "Dominicanos," a 30-second snippet recorded on the Dominican streets. The lengthier highlights include the tuba-driven "New Second Line," the poppy-funk Curtis Mayfield (no relation to Irvin Mayfield) tribute "New Bus Stop," and the wild vocal melange "Sentimientos." Three mini-suites also add a great deal of thematic coherence. The first is "Brother Runnin'," segueing into "Brother Gettin' Caught," both of which conjure images of a manhunt, complete with a shotgun blast, barking dogs, and furtive voices. The three-part "El Negro," ostensibly dedicated to the band's new drummer, features excellent flute work by Kent Jordan and the most modern jazz harmonies to be found on the record. And "Warrior Suite," a Bill Summers creation also in three parts, features the hypnotic voice of Pedro Martinez, backed by nothing but active percussion and huge-sounding call-and-response chants by additional vocalists. As much improvisation as the album contains, it has little to do with the often insular world of acoustic jazz. It's a big, involved production, with a big, boisterous sound and a pointed disregard for musical categories. Tellingly, the band signs off with the quasi-disco number "Call It What You Want," a manifesto of sorts.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Basin Street Records


  1. Forforo Fo Firi  - Irvin Mayfield
  2. Intro  - Irvin Mayfield
  3. Brother Runnin'  - Irvin Mayfield
  4. Brother Getin' Caught  - Irvin Mayfield
  5. Fantizias de Samba  - Irvin Mayfield
  6. New Second Line  - Irvin Mayfield
  7. Jah Rastafarai  - Irvin Mayfield
  8. New Bus Stop  - Irvin Mayfield
  9. El Negro, Pt. 1  - Irvin Mayfield
  10. El Negro, Pt. 2  - Irvin Mayfield
  11. El Negro, Pt. 3  - Irvin Mayfield
  12. Dominicanos  - Irvin Mayfield
  13. Corcovado/Nocturnal Low Moan  - Irvin Mayfield
  14. Africa N.O.  - Irvin Mayfield
  15. Sentimientos  - Irvin Mayfield
  16. Nyabingi  - Irvin Mayfield
  17. I Shot the Sherriff  - Irvin Mayfield
  18. Bandera  - Irvin Mayfield
  19. Digidall  - Irvin Mayfield
  20. Warrior Suite, Pt. 1  - Irvin Mayfield
  21. Warrior Suite, Pt. 2  - Irvin Mayfield
  22. Warrior Suite, Pt. 3  - Irvin Mayfield
  23. Call It What You Want  - Irvin Mayfield

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hombres Calientes: Irving Mayfield & Bill Summers   Primary Artist
Kent Jordan   Flute,Piccolo
Bill Summers   Bongos,Timbales,Bells,Pandeiro,Surdo,Bata,Ganza,Shekere,Tumbadora,Tamborim,Nyabinghi Drums
Kermit Ruffins   Vocals
Issac Delgado   Vocals,Background Vocals
Victor Atkins   Piano
Horacio "El Negro" Hernández   Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Background Vocals
Ronell Johnson   Solo Instrumental,Trombone,Tuba,Vocals
Phillip Manuel   Vocals,Background Vocals
Delfeayo Marsalis   Trombone
Michael Ray   Trumpet
Tony Ruption   Drums
Jamil Sharif   Trumpet
John Boutté   Vocals,Background Vocals
Eduardo Martinez   Percussion
Pedro Martinez   Percussion,Timbales,Vocals,Background Vocals,Bata
Irving Acao   Tenor Saxophone
Cornell Williams   Vocals
Derwin "Big D" Perkins   Vocals
Irvin Mayfield   Solo Instrumental,Trumpet,Muted Trumpet
Ronald Markham   Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Freddy Prince   Percussion
Julio Padron   Solo Instrumental,Trumpet
Phillip Frazier   Vocals
Rick Sebastian   Drums
Juan Carlos Marin   Trombone
Early Brooks   Vocals

Technical Credits

Delfeayo Marsalis   Producer
Steve Reynolds   Engineer
J.P. Torres   Horn Arrangements
Irvin Mayfield   Producer,Horn Arrangements
Mark Samuels   Executive Producer
Jeff Strout   Art Direction

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