Cracked Latin: In Situ: Live At Iridium

The bi-lingual cover of the Stones’ “Let’s Spend The Night Together” done as a salsa complete with horns and shaking maracas as if Mick turned into Ricky Martin is alone worth the price of admission. Cracked Latin is one ass-shaking big band of seven whose wailing horns, rock sensibility and jazz solos all combine for a party in your pants. It’s that visceral, a gut-punch of adrenaline. I guess that’s why they had to record it live in an organic effort to capture that essence. And they did.

Singer/songwriter Luis Accorsi, born in Venezuela, raised in Miami, started out in punk bands and has retained the swagger. Guitarist Lane Steinberg spent 10 years on the studio side in Hoboken recording bands like Yo La Tengo and the Bongos. They both have obviously logged mucho hours digesting their Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco records, putting this band together in ‘08 with Zappa-esque weirdo flair.

Funny thing is, they’re not above incorporating seemingly dated and cornball doses of cha-cha and rhumba. Opener “Your Miami” is positively grating. “Caracas Shakedown” is worthy of something you might hear Desi Arnez do on the I Love Lucy show.

Still, when they catch fire, which is often, it’s downright exhilarating. That’s because this gig has some real heavyweights to bring these cracked ideas to full fruition: among them pianist Mark Soskin (Sonny Rollins), trombonist Clark Gayton (Prince/Mingus/Santana/Sting), saxophonist Richie Cannata (Billy Joel/Beach Boys) and percussionist Bashiri Johnson (Michael Jackson).

In A Word: Wild