It’s no secret that brass musicians from Puerto Rico are often considered some of the best in the world. The supergroup Brokys On Band takes that sentiment to the highest level. This big band group consists of members who have worked with Paul Simon, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Yanni, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Victor Manuel, Daddy Yankee, and others. These musicians are living proof that big band jazz is still alive and well, and it couldn’t be on better display than it is in their recording of Las Vegas Experience, a fully live performance of a collection of jazz standards performed at the highest level.
This accomplished group consists of Roberto Sueiro (vocals), Luis Enrique (vocals), Glenn Monroig (vocals), Jorge Laboy (lead guitar), Jose Gomez (keys), Efrain Martinez (drums), Junior Irizarry (bass), Luis Marin (piano), and Cucco Peña (Musical Director). They’ve come together in this project for an unparalleled show of skill in this genre, offering soulful interpretations of these songs that highlight the true, honed skills of each of these performers, strengthened even further by the fact that Las Vegas Experience is a completely live performance.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
As this is a collection of jazz standards, familiarity is present all the way through the recording. But there are unique additions to these tracks that showcase the tremendous skills of these musicians and also pay homage to their Puerto Rican roots Each soloist is expertly skilled in their own right, bringing their own flair and stylings to the track at hand, all while never missing a note.
The classics they’ve chosen to tackle in this live recording truly showcase the best of this group’s abilities. Familiar songs like Come Fly With Me, Moondance, and Georgia maintain the smooth and perfectly nuanced instrumentation we’ve all come to expect from these timeless tracks. The performers clearly have experience blending with each other, while still giving each other room to be heard as the performance ebbs and flows.
The same can be said for the different featured vocalists, as they perform the tracks most suited back to their own vocal tones. We especially appreciated the duet style chosen for That’s Life – the vocals from both Roberto Suiero and Glenn Monroig complement each other perfectly and provide the genuine emotion and feeling that’s so necessary for an effective version of this classic.
Suiero, who performs the majority of the vocal leads on these tracks, has the quintessential crooner’s voice for this kind of music. It’s a fantastic combination of power and smoothness that gives him a timeless tone, but he provides his own embellishments and inflections that make it clear that he’s comfortable making these tracks his own. This is on display especially clearly in Fly Me to the Moon.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
While the vocals are often a high point in this recording, we thoroughly enjoyed the instrumental pieces as well. These songs do the best job at highlighting the instrument players that are responsible for the cohesion and soul that brings these tracks to life. In Take the A Train, we’re treated to features from nearly every part of the ensemble via expertly performed saxophone, trombone, trumpet, and guitar solos. As a listener, you become the most familiar with the band during tracks like these as each section is allowed its moment in the sun. It allows you to get a feeling for the stylings of each performer both as an individual and as a part of the whole.
This is high level, big band jazz music – truly as authentic as they come, and with an enjoyable yet subtle Latin flair to set them apart from the rest. The members of Brokys On Band are performers and entertainers that so very clearly love what they do, and their passion for their craft shines through in this extraordinary live recording. Las Vegas Experience is an excellent, refreshing dive into true big band jazz music. Groups like this keep this genre alive and well and are the living proof that perhaps the best days for this kind of music are not in fact in the past, but in the future.
BELOW: Listen to Las Vegas Experience and connect with the website and social media platforms. Please support Brokys On Band by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!