Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band: West Side Story Reimagined (2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

What we have here is a reimagining of West Side Story from the viewpoint of a drummer/singer/band leader who is from the Bronx, yet is also proudly Puerto Rican. Recorded live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in NYC on November 19th 2017, it celebrates 60 years since it was premiered, as well as being released 100 years since the birth of Bernstein himself. Captured over two CD’s, in a four page digipak and accompanying 16 page booklet (containing loads of information on each song), this is quite something. West Side Story is a classic musical with its story of the Jets and the Sharks, but here it has been given a Latin twist that takes numbers into quite different directions.

As well as Bobby himself, there are another three musicians providing different forms of percussion, and this heavy rhythmic element transforms the album. “Jet Song” is so vital and alive that one almost expects the dancers to somehow appear out of the speakers, with 21 musicians swinging and driving as one. But Sanabria is always in control, and he slows it down and twists and drives it, so that one can never get too complacent. If ever you have enjoyed the original, or love Big Band, or you love Latin music, then here is an album that is bringing together all three in a manner that is just incredible.

Rating: 9/10


Track list:
1. Intro
2. Prologue
3. Intro Jet Song
4. Jet Song
5. Intro América
6. América
7. Gee, Officer Krupke Intro
8. Gee, Officer Krupke
9. Tonight
10. Gym Scene – Blues / Mambo
11. Gym Scene – Cha Cha Cha
12. María
13. Intro Cool
14. Cool
15. The Rumble / Rumba
16. One Hand, One Heart
17. Somewhere
18. Intro Epilogue / Finale
19. Epilogue / Finale
20. Outro



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