Beto y los Fairlanes
Marinera Luna

Folks have been butt-shaking to cumbias in Austin since Beto y los Fairlanes first set up shop at Liberty Lunch, playing occasionally at the Armadillo. They sound better than ever on their latest CD, Conga Dog. I had arranged Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man for a 1963 high school talent show with a seven-piece rhythm/percussion section and four-piece horn section. Robert's dad and mine were friends and his uncle Jack Skiles was one of my guitar mentors, so when I couldn't line up a decent trumpet player from my own school, I turned to this neighborhood chum. I know this seems like a long time to revisit a good idea, but I think of it as waiting for that propitious mellowing moment. Actually, it was Robert's idea to produce Taking Turns in this manner, a brilliantly cavalier idea from a brilliant musical cavalier. You can take the boys out of San Antonio, but...

Special kudos to Professor John Mills for his corking nonchalance in providing a signature clarinet sound (clarinet is a mainstay of Colombian cumbias from Carmen Rivera which heavily influenced me). The seductive interplay between clarinet and piano is not unlike an apache dance. Here again, the late great Tony Campise brings his enormous heart to the horn section, and the percussion has a great frolic atop Arturo's steady drive. When you listen on a good system, turn up for Rich Haering's trumpet solo if you want your heart to soar.

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Robert Skiles
John Fremgin
Steve Summer
Arturo Garza
John Mills
Rich Haering
Mike Mordecai
Tony Campise
Laura Mordecai
drums, percussion
clarinet, tenor sax
alto sax
Fred Remmert Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)

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by Fletcher Clark
2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

rev. 07/29/10