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JMancera: Mancera #5

Looking every bit the dapper gent in his sharp suit, glistening watch and cravat, JMancera (Jaime to his friends) is a Colombian saxophonist specialising in contemporary jazz. Broad brush strokes abound as Jaime darts from rock to jazz, bumping into fusion along the way, while always ensuring you – and he no doubt – have a huge smile on your face… most of the time. This is chirpy, cheery fare, a bright unabashed trip through good times and happy memories. For some it may all be a little dayglo in its outlook, the constant cheeriness and twee keyboard sounds a little too sweet to digest and yet, if you can't let go and thump along to the beat and thrumming bass line from Jeff Berlin on "Rico Swing" (he sure does!), then you're just being churlish. Close your eyes and this track could almost have you in an imaginary car chase through the streets of 70s cops and crooks. Whereas "Sunset Silhouettes" flirts Latin with disco, sharp bursts of guitar swooshing through the dancing piano and, of course, Mancera's sumptuous sax.

To be fair the patience is tested a little on occasions, "Mediterranean Flavor" initially sitting on an easy swish that actually reminds of the old theme tune to M.A.S.H., "Suicide Is Painless", before powering up into a few short bars of soft rock smush; the easy meander returning once more to make you wonder what all the unneeded fuss was about. While "Reflections" really could have smooched its way into almost any TV movie as a tearful, but all too obvious farewell. That said, when things are upbeat and celebrating the happier side of life, the results are much easier to swallow, "Today I Was Born Again" sitting keenly on a driving beat and another smile inducing bass line, whereas "Ready To Fight", where the sax spars gleefully with Nick Moroch's excellent guitar-play, is sure to get you moving.

Mancera #5 is the sort of album that many will find way too blatant and straight forward, the few hidden twists and turns, if anything, even more expected than the straight on beats and melodies more often provided. However with a heart of gold, uplifting outlook on life and superb musicianship throughout, in truth it's hard not to find quite a lot to like.

Track Listing
1. Mancera #5
2. Hola Sunshine
3. You Are Always There
4. Ready to Fight
5. Rico Swing
6. State Of Love
7. Sunset Silhouettes
8. Cumbanchando
9. Mediterranean Flavor
10. Reflections
11. Today I Was Born Again
12. Come to Me
13. Swinging Skirt

Added: July 19th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: JMancera on Facebook
Hits: 1234
Language: english

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