As always, something lovely and non-political to wind down my blogging day.
I discovered Poncho Sanchez quite on accident. Mid-'90s, I was watching "Broadcast News" for the umpteenth time, and for the umpteenth time my favorite scene was James Brooks getting drunk while listening to some fun & funky French jazz -- all the while feeding lines to William Hurt's dumb-but-handsome news anchor character.
Great movie, great scene. And it made me think I needed some French jazz. Now, if you've ever tried to read a movie's music credits on a 21-inch TV at VHS resolution, you know it's a lost cause. So, fully armed with complete ignorance about French jazz or French jazz musicians, I went down to MediaPlay to peruse the jazz section.
They didn't have anything French.
Still, I came home with two jazz CDs that day, both chosen "blind," based on nothing more than having album covers I liked.
The first was Al Di Meola's "Elegant Gypsy," which provided a short but powerful lesson in how '70s jazz became, in Roddy Doyle's famous phrase, "wanker music."
The second was Poncho Sanchez's "Afro-Cuban Fantasy." That one went immediately on my Desert Island list, and I immediately became a huge fan who made many more trips to MediaPlay to buy many more Sanchez albums. But to this day, "Afro-Cuban Fantasy" remains my favorite.
And Sanchez's Caribbean-fueled take on Cy Coleman's theme song for Hugh Hefner's "Playboy's Penthouse" TV show is one of the top cuts to his top album.
Hope you enjoy, and I'll see you bright an early tomorrow AM, right after Liz Sheld's unmissable morning brief.