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Juan Pastor – Drums and percussion
Stu Mindeman – Piano and keyboards
Patrick Mulchahy – Bass
Rich Moore – Alto saxophone
Marquis Hill – Trumpet
Juan Pastor’s band Chinchano has garnered a good deal of critical acclaim over the past two years. Much of it has been in response to the band’s self-titled debut release in May 2014. Since then, Juan and his band have grown a great deal through collective composition and performance. Their newest release, Un Cambio, is a stunning testament to that.
The album opens with a composition by Stu Mindeman, “Marea Alta,” that is filled with simplistically lyrical melodic content, propelled by the pulsating grooves of the cajon and other auxiliary percussion.
Throughout this album one thing becomes evident: Their work is much more sonically modern here than the debut release. Not just in terms of composition, but perhaps even more so in terms of the audio engineering of the music itself. Un Cambio is decorated with sonic enhancements that do not distract the listener from the music, but widens its appeal to both younger listeners and fans of other genres—a welcomed augmentation.
Another unique quality is the timbre created by Marquis Hill’s dark trumpet sound and the intense timbre of Rich Moore’s alto saxophone. The two create a beautiful blend of unique tones that serve the music well throughout each composition.
Standout tracks include “Bluestejo,” a Peruvian-inspired, blues-oriented song that features exceptional piano and trumpet solos from Mindeman and Hill, and from Pastor on the cajon drum box. “Festejo Desaparecido” is a beautifully anxious song, gradually building to a dynamic ending.
The album represents a strong sophomore release from a band that has continued to grow beyond the success of their debut recording. If this record is any indication, there will be much more to look forward to from Chinchano in the future.