One of my most favorite local artists is Nachito Herrera. His consummate skill and amazing talent just blow me away whenever I get to hear his work.
Case in point: I’m listening to “West Side Latin Jazz” from Live at the Dakota Vol. 2. The level of energy that so fully saturates every single note of the song is striking, but is almost nothing compared to the layers of texture that make this song almost the anti-thesis of saccharine. One of the elements of latin jazz that has always drawn me is the use of multiple percussion instruments. So hearing Shai Hayo on timbales (?) and Gordy Knudtson on the more usual drum set throwing around their increasingly more frenetic variations of the main theme in the alternating percussion solos near the end of the track is just pure heaven.
Besides, how can you not like a form of music that takes the cowbell seriously.