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Jose Riso's Mongorama latin-jazz ensemble at Amoeba Records in Hollywood Sunday July 13
Live review: Jose Riso's Mongorama latin-jazz ensemble at Amoeba Records in Hollywood

KKJZ-FM radio host Jose Rizo's Monogarama jazz ensemble performed Sunday July13 at Amoeba Records in Hollywood to pay tribute to conga master Mongo Santamaria's Cuban charanga-jazz and showcase the group's latest CD,"Baila Que Baila," featuring L.A.'s Latin jazz giant Poncho Sanchez on congas.

Mongorama will be performing Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at the Wine And Jazz event, benefiting Project Angel Food at Hollywood and Highland.

Despite the small aisles at Amoeba, a few cumberios took to the dance floor. This writer did not dare, with the prospect of being on the Top Ten Awkward Dance Moves always lurking around the corner.

"Jazz on the Latin Side" host Riso himself jokingly called the the 10-piece Mongorama salsa band "the Rolling Piedras," (aka Rolling Stones) while introducing the afternoon of music and dance powered by timbales, saxophones, brass and congas.

Mongorama has been together for four years and features tenor saxophonist Justo Almario and flautist Danilo Lozano revisiting the explorations of saxophonist Chombo Silva and flautist Rolando Lozano (Danilo's Dad).

Rounding out the ensemble are James Zavaleta (lead vocals), Ramon Banda (timbales), Joey De Leon (congas), Alfredo Ortiz (perc/vocals), Rene Camacho (bass), Joe Rotondi (piano), and Dayren Santamaria (violin).

Jose Riso’s Mongorama latin-jazz ensemble at Amoeba Records in Hollywood Sunday July 13
Jose Riso's Mongorama latin-jazz ensemble at Amoeba Records in Hollywood Sunday July 13 (Photo by Paty Elias)

Mongorama have been is a latin-jazz ensemble formed by KJazz radio personality Jose Rizo (host of 'Jazz on the Latin Side'), exploring the early Mongo Santamaria charanga-jazz material of the 1950's and early 1960's. Conga legend Mongo Santamaria, saxophonist Chombo Silva and flautist Rolando Lozano performed an exciting latin jazz sound driven by cuban charanga rhythms and straight ahead jazz. Mongorama celebrates this music preserving the classic charanga-jazz element , yet refreshing it with a modern perspective.


Set List: 
Bluchanga
Bacoso
Son Wambari
Ta ' Bueno
Baila Que Baila
Tin Marin
Hollywood & Highland Wine and Jazz summer concert Jose Rizo's Mongorama