March-27th-2012, 11:38 PM
Each Day Is A Gift.
Tito Puente, Jr. & His Orchestra - Anchorage/March 24, 2012
My wife & I enjoyed Tito Puente performances on two separate occasions in Anchorage, and I experienced the special thrill of participating in a Master Class with the master timbalero. That was quite a few years ago, however.
We looked forward to hearing what Tito, Jr. was going to offer last Friday evening, not even knowing who was in his 10-piece orchestra beforehand. There was a good deal of trust involved.
The concert was a lot of fun, but Tito Jr. pales in comparison with his Dad, frankly. Tito was a great timbalero. Tito, Jr. was good, but not great, in my estimation. He did follow one very important piece of advice from Sr., however. Surround yourself with creative, talented people and you'll be fine. He did that, all right!
The group's pianist/musical director, Marlow Rosado was brilliant! The 5-piece horn section led by trombonist Nathan Vetter was super-tight! The conguero/vocalist, Daniel Peņa, was incredible, as was the bongocero/cencero (cowbell)/vocalist, Gamalier Reyes, who played a cowbell like no one I've ever seen or heard before!
Tito, Jr. was also very warm and engaging with his audience, just like his Dad. Another nod to Tito, Jr. is that he is secure enough to allow both percussionists to display their prowess on his instrument near the end of the evening. They were phenomenal timbaleros, and the concert wound up with all 3 playing 2 sets (4 timbales) which was innovative and hip, if a little too commercial. I remembered that they were also popular in Vegas at that moment.
Tito, Jr. is talented and very likeable, like his "Pops", but needs to refrain from repeating himself when talking between tunes. And, he should give the overuse of references to his Dad's accomplishments a rest. We get it, already.
They are a very cohesive orchestra, and provided a full evening of fun with authentic rhythms and songs. I got to say hello and thank you to the bassist and two percussionists on my way out of the auditorium, which was cool. They had jumped down from the stage after the house cleared and were talking with a few audience members in front of the front row where I needed to navigate R2O2 to the handicapped entrance to meet Patti. They were appreciative of my remarks.
Last edited by Ron Thorne; March-28th-2012 at 03:01 PM.
"Timing is everything." - Peppercorn