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"Among Latin music's top ten bands."
- Max Salazar, Latin Jazz Historian
"A summer sizzler of some fresh Latin jazz from an emerging talent...the solos are exceptional, with Blas proving why he's boss as he tears into the cueros with authority and excitement."
- Latin Beat Magazine
"With a herd of trombones, a driving swing, jazz cat Dave Pike on vibes and a percussion section that will melt asphalt, Skin and Bones is a summer sizzler of some fresh Latin jazz from an emerging talent. Originally from NYC, Blas is a conguero with old shool chops a la [Ray] Barretto and Mongo [Santamaria], who is infusing those influences with a vibrant ensemble that doesn't let up."
- Latin Beat Magazine
Blas plays Latin jazz with the swing, energy, originality and attitude that is often missing from modern day recordings. Staying in top gear from beginning to end "Mambo 2000" is Johnny Blas showing the world that he has chops as a performer and original composer.
Over the period of three albums his band has recorded only one cover version, prefering to compose their own tunes and create a mix of sounds that is unique and forward thinking. Blas, along with music director-pianist-guitarist, Mark Gutierrez, and the multi-talented trombonist-violinist, Dan Weinstein, plays a big role fashioning this group's unique brand of fiery, yet accomplished Latin jazz.
On "Skin and Bones", his first CuBop album, it was the unusual use of a four piece trombone section that set the Blas outfit apart. He earned praise from magazines like Latin Percussionist, who gave the CD an "Excellent" rating and said "This is not a case of nostalgia - this group definitely has its own Latin jazz sound." The exploration of originality continues on "Mambo 2000" with the introduction of guitar into the mix. On "Picadillo" (Blas' first cover tune) an acoustic guitar brings a welcome new flavor to the Tito Puente original. "I'm not usually a big guitar fan, says Blas. "But the excitement of the guitar just jumping out gives the track a new energy and pushes us into new territory."
"King Conga", album number three for conguero Johnny Blas, presents heaps of forward thinking ideas. We hope you enjoy their fresh approach to the world of Latin jazz.