The Upshot: A compelling Lone Star State (!) mashup of global sounds, mostly Latin and funk, but also weaving in bits of jazz, rap, rock and Afro-pop.
BY JENNIFER KELLY
Cilantro Boombox, out of Austin, stirs up a polyglot babble of global sounds, mostly Latin and funk, but also weaving in bits of jazz, rap, rock and Afro-pop. Built around the foundation of Félix Pacheco (who also plays bass for Black Joe Lewis and Ocote Soul Sounds) and saxophonist Joe Woullard, the band has evolved into a large ensemble, with a full-throated brass, reed and percussion sections.
Shine, the band’s second album, begins in “Living in a Box,” an Earth Wind & Fire-storm of stylish falsetto chorus’d 1970s soul, while making a very 2017 point: put your phone away and dance. “CU Dance” swaggers with brass, percolates with hand drums, fever dreams in jazzy flute, an old-style funk opened out into the present with hip-hopping spoken intervals. “Makossa Son Soul” veers Afro-centric, with Woullard’s sax sallying out over chugging high life syncopations. A few of the tracks verge upon smooth jazz or even disco (“Onan’s Disciples” the most extreme example), but mostly, rougher, more urgent energies prevail.
Of course, with bands like these, the record is always a pale shadow of the live experience, but in a pinch, Shine will bring the party to you.
DOWNLOAD: “Living in a Box” “Makossa Son Soul”