Music » Band of the Week

Roberto Ocasio's Latin Jazz Project

Algo Para Ti (Ocasio Music Publishing Co./Little Fish)


Once again, our small market makes for small ambitions. None of Cleveland's disparate communities of Latin music lovers are dense enough to float their own boats for long, so longtime resident Roberto Ocasio and his helpmates scrounge up a "tropical jam" that really should be titled Algo Para Todos -- Something for Everyone. Devotees of the Buena Vista Social Club get the self-explanatory mambo "Havana Club" and the basic són "Guajira." Listeners to the Wave get the Latinized new-age jazz of "Sabrosa." And seniors who remember the Latin craze of the '50s get the Liberace-like treacle of "Sometime Someplace" and the cocktail schlock of "Samba on the Rocks."

It's all colorful and professional enough to win a radio spot or nightclub gig. But the angular attack of the upbeat dance numbers suggests how much more interesting it could be if this classically trained pianist would risk it. Ocasio's baby girl makes an appearance at the end, as if to remind us why he doesn't.

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