Ritmos Unidos – Ritmos Unidos

It’s a carnival atmosphere as eight-time Grammy nominee Michael Spiro leads Ritmos Unidos on Ritmos Unidos (Patois Records, 2014).

The group consists of Spiro, congas, bata, hand percussion; Jeremy Allen, upright and electric bass; Jamaal Baptiste, piano and keyboards; Joe Galvin, steel pans, bata, hand percussion and background vocals; Pat Harbison, trumpet; Nate Johnson, tenor saxophone and background vocals; Mike Mixtacki, drums, timbales, bata and lead vocals; and Joel Tucker, guitar and tres guitar. Special guests are trombonist Wayne Wallace, who heads the Patois label, steel pan artist Liam Teague and marimba specialist Kevin Bobo.

“Ritmos Unidos,” penned by Wallace and Spiro, gets the party started. With one of the pans out front part of the way, the percussive play and horns are the highlights of this track, as they are throughout the set. The celebration is evident during the vocal call and response sequence, which overlaps Wallace’s throaty trombone solo. Guitar, trumpet, sax, bass and piano also get their licks in.

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