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New England's premier jazz label since 1987.

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Brass Roots
Purple Cha Cha Heels  (AC-5046, released 2003)

Brass Roots is the most streamlined mambo band you'll ever hear: it builds an exciting, catchy, danceable sound around two trombones and percussion, with touches of trumpet, sax and flute. You won't believe the full sound this "chamber mambo" band creates. Brass Roots does for Cuban mambo what the Tijuana Brass did for Mexican mariachi music in the 1960's: takes the most distinctive and hooky elements and skillfully presents them with familiar classical and Latino melodies, delivering the music with a crisp sound that reflects a pop sensibility. It is mambo for people who love mambo - and for those who usually don't listen to mambo at all.

Composer/arranger/trombonist Jim "Mondongo" Messbauer has been one of the top musicians on the New England Latin music scene for 15 years. His idiomatic writing and commanding sound are legendary.

Trombonist Russell Jewell hails from the home of the blues, Chicago, and first made his name in Boston during a nine-year stint with the Either/Orchestra, appearing on six albums. A long-standing presence in the Latin scene, he now appears with soul great Mighty Sam McClain.

Percussionist Ana Norgaard is a rising star from Venezuela, who has appeared with such major musicians such as Giovanni Hidalgo, Victor Mendoza, and Eddie Palmieri, lays down a powerful groove that belies her 25 years.

Scott Aruda, trumpeter with blues diva Toni Lynn Washington, and sax/flutist Tim Mayer are top-call players in Boston, and clearly have a great time playing Mondongo's dazzling arrangements.