Out next month is Sonidos Gold, a treasure trove of joyful sounds from 11-piece Grupo Fantasma: big horns, big reverb-y group vocals, big Latin jazz sound with funky guitars. Think Cubanismo meets Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. The musicianship from this Austin, Texas-based outfit is unimpeachably excellent. Arrangements are powerful and complex with vocals floating in and out of the mix on a sort of cloud of reverb. The album also benefits from performances by special guests, including Maceo Parker, trombone player Greg Boyer and pianist/arranger Larry Harlow. If you’re like me and you have a weak spot for big bands that feature police whistle in the percussion section, you will definitely want to pick this music for your next summer party. Prince did; he chose Grupo Fantasma’s horn section to support his recent performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and at Coachella.
Producer: Adrian Quesada and Grupo Fantasma. Recording engineers: Stuart Sullivan; “Bacalao con Pan” and parts of “El Desconocido” recorded by Damon Lange and Quesada. Mixing: Sullivan, Greg Gonzalez, Quesada, Beto Martinez, Jose Galeano. Studios: Wire Record, The Compound. Mastering: Jim Wilson/Airshow Mastering (Boulder, Colo.).