First Listen: Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel feat. Los Charly’s Orchestra – Merecumbe (Latin Disco Rework) (Imagenes Recordings)
In the footsteps of artists like Willie Bobo, Tito Puente and the Fania All Stars. Venezuelan producers Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel bring their Latin influences to the next level. And more precisely here, the Merecumbe which fuses Colombian Merengue with Cumbia. As many vibes which they come to blend with elements of Disco, Jazz and Funk. Thus comin’ up with killer grooves at the end.
Their 2013 percussive horn led cover version of Johnny Colón‘s Nuyorican classic ‘Merecumbe’ perfectly illustrating the magnetism of their approach as a matter of fact. Don’t you think?
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– London-based Venezuelan producers Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel formed Los Charly’s Orchestra (LCO) by the early mid-2000’s. They most likely created the sensation while blending the Boogie Disco sound of the 70’s with a serious Latin live perspective. Somehow reminding of Nuyorican Soul to a certain extend.
Among their regular members, one can find singers Andre Espeut and Elpidio Alegria. But also Brazilian bass players Matheus Nova and George Malamas. Not to mention Milt Mavrakakis (keyboards) Phil Stevenson (guitar) and Joe Thomas (piano). Meanwhile Tony Trobony and Paul Batik are responsible for the horns, along with John Desbrulais and Mike McKenzie on drums and Wilmer Sifontes on percussion.
Putting out their music on their own label (Imagenes Recordings), they released 2 albums to date. Building up their reputation on a bunch of timeless gems. From ‘Music For The Soul’ to their cover version of Johnny Colón‘s ‘Merecumbe’ and ‘Everlasting Love’. Not to mention ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Groove On’ although by the likes of LCO‘s heads Laya and Montiel. But also ‘All Around The World’. With the same applying to its remix courtesy of Opolopo. More recently teamin’ up with Omar to celebrate their 10th Birthday with ‘It’s So / History’ due for release on June 16, 2017. With the latter resurfacing in October that same year with remix by the likes of John Morales.
Meanwhile, the band has played in some of the key musical spots of the UK & the rest of the world such as Clore Ballroom (Royal Festival Hall), Lovebox Festival, Jazz Cafe, and Blue Marlin.
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