Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band

"Juega, Poncho!" That’s what you’ll typically hear from the bandstand as the horns drop out, the bass and piano tighten up into a simmering, cycling montuno, and the Mexican-American conguero moves in for a solo. It’s the highlight of any set from Poncho Sanchez’s endlessly-touring band, which, through sheer perseverance and likeability, has become the Latin-jazz standard-bearer for the club and festival scene, and has lately made an annual New Year’s visit to the Alley. Sanchez and his team may not have the most cutting-edge approach to melding jazz with Afro-Cuban rhythms, but it’s a solid one, and Sanchez brings out a story-telling quality in the congas that is often not heard in more complex players. MARK D. FEFER

Fri., Dec. 31, 8:45 & 11 p.m., 2010

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