Bobby Sanabria – West Side Story Reimagined (Jazzheads, 2018)
Drummer, musical director and arranger Bobby Sanabria and the Multiverse Big Band have recreated the music originally composed for a popular Broadway musical theater play called West Side Story. The piece, inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, focused on the love story between members of two New York Gangs, one of which is Puerto Rican.
Although Bobby Sanabria was born in the USA, he grew up in a proud Puerto Rican family. Sanabria skillfully has inserted Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican and even Brazilian rhythmic elements like cha cha cha, mambo, bomba and more into the original score by Leonard Bernstein. What was originally a classic Broadway score, now features irresistible Latin jazz beats and full big band richness.
The musicians that appear in the album include Bobby Sanabria on musical director, drum set with cowbells, police whistle, samba whistle and lead vocals; Kevin Bryan, Shareef Clayton, Max Darché and Andrew Neesley on trumpet; David De Jesús on lead alto and soprano saxophones and flute; Andrew Gould on alto saxophone and flute; Peter Brainin on tenor saxophone and flute; Yaacov Mayman on tenor saxophone, flute and clarinet; Danny Rivera on baritone saxophone; David Miller, Tim Sessions, Armando Vergara on trombone; Chris Washburne on bass trombone; Gabrielle Garo on flute and piccolo; Ben Sutin on electric violin; Darwin Noguera on piano; Leo Traversa on electric bass; Oreste Abrantes on congas, itotele batá drum and second voice; Matthew González on bongo, cencerro, primo bomba drum, Iyá batá, requinto pandereta, ganza and Dominican güira; Takeo Heisho on claves, Cuban güiro macho, cencerro, Puerto Rican guicharo, okonkolo batá drum, Cuban and Venezuelan maracas, chékere, tambourine, cuica, pandeiro, triangle, gong and police siren.
The double album West Side Story Reimagined is a masterful Latin jazz work by Bobby Sanabria, one of the great Latin music drummers of our time, and the exceptionally good Multiverse Big Band.