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Benjamin Lapidus & Kari - B3: Ochosi Blues

- CD Reviews

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Benjamin Lapidus & Kari - B3: Ochosi Blues
2014 Tresero Productions

Benjamin Lapidus on Guitar and Tres
Jared Gold and Frank Anderson on Organ
Cándido Camera on Congas
Paul Carlon on Tenor Sax and Baritone Sax
TJ English, Lyricist
Charlie Sepúlveda and Greg Glassman on Trumpet
Enid Lowe and Bobby Harden on Vocals
Gene Jefferson on Alto Sax and Flute
Pedrito Martinez on Vocals and Batá Drums
Hiram Remón on Vocals and Güiro
Bobby Sanabria on Drums
Elizabeth Frascoia on Trombone
Aaron Wesitrop on Guitar


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 27, 2014

This CD is top quality, versatile, and filled with wonderful musical surprises. Each track is refreshingly individual, whether vocal ballad, mambo, rhumba, calypso, traditional tune, or cooking lesson (Track #5, “The Sweeter the Lovin’, The Darker the Roux”). Benjamin Lapidus, a fine guitarist, also plays tres, a Latin American stringed instrument in the guitar family. The expansive list of participating artists, above, attests to the riveting tracks one discovers on Ochosi Blues, a new recording of “Latin, Soul, Organ, Jazz”, as the cover celebrates. This is a must-listen-to-multiple-times recording, with so much nuanced texture and cultural enrichment. A few of the crème de la crème collaborating artists are Bobby Sanabria, Pedrito Martinez, and Cándido Camera. Several tracks are composed by the multi-talented Mr. Lapidus, and it was almost impossible to choose four below.

Notable tracks:

#3 – But Beautiful – Composed by J. Van Heusen/J. Burke. This sumptuous track features Enid Lowe on astoundingly gorgeous vocals, taking her time, languidly and lusciously, through the poignant lyrics. Frank Anderson, Panamanian as is Ms. Lowe, accompanies on organ, with no additional instruments, making the organ seem like its own orchestra. The Caribbean effect is mesmerizing and magical.

#8 – Guajira Organica – Composed by B. Lapidus. This intoxicating mambo, played by Frank Anderson on organ, with Gene Jefferson on flute, Mr. Lapidus on tres, and Bobby Sanabria on drums, will entice you to dance to the engaging rhythms. This original composition has authentic, Latin tempo, tone, and temperament.

#12 – Como Fue – Composed by E. D. Brito. With Frank Anderson, once again, on scintillating organ, Cándido Camera on congas, Mr. Lapidus on guitar, and Bobby Sanabria on drums, the track showcases Mr. Lapidus’ extraordinary performing artistry. There’s romance and reverence in each phrase, as this song is dedicated to Mr. Lapidus’ wife, Teresita, on their wedding anniversary.

#15 – Yemaya’s Changes – Traditional, arr. B. Lapidus. Pedrito Martinez is featured here on vocals and batá drums, with Jared Gold on organ, Mr. Lapidus on guitar, and Bobby Sanabria on drums. Mr. Lapidus’ liner notes mention Yamayá as the goddess of the sea, in Cuban folklore, and Mr. Martinez sings and drums in Spanish, chant-like style, filled with yearning and energy.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at