Poncho Sanchez’s Afro-Cuban Fantasy isn’t one of the best Latin jazz albums of the ’90s — it’s one of the best jazz albums, period. There’s just no need to limit the scope or genre to define the greatness of the performances on each track.
For Clare Fischer’s “Morning,” Sanchez brought in guest vocalist Dianne Reeves, whose energy and exuberance matches the band’s — and for the Sanchez Octet, that’s really saying something. Throughout, Reeves switches from the lyric to a scat, which is heavier on the Afro than the Caribbean. It makes for a scorching vocal you won’t soon forget, without ever overshadowing the band.
But when Poncho Sanchez is playing, what could?