Buy Entre La
Habana Y El Yuma

Buy Mamborama's
Night of the
Living Mambo


Reviews: Entre La Habana Y El Yuma

An in-depth review by Timba Loco Kevin Moore, complete with audio examples.
Click here (opens in a new window)."...a multifaceted, funky dance masterpiece that helps to define this new era of Cuban dance music. It's club-ready, dance floor-filling plutonium.
This, folks, just may be the sleeper hit of the Summer of 2003. Not to be missed. Very Highly Recommended." By Bruce Polin at (opens in a new window).

Here's a bilingual revew by Jacira Castro at (opens in a new window).

"Their music has been played on over 400,000 times, going on half a million by now, because this Cuban music SWINGS. It combines traditional rhythms with some more aggressive elements, such as keyboard sounds and R&B influences." By Ben Ohmart at La (opens in a new window).

Reviews en español:

By Javier Rivera at "Bill Wolfer tuvo una idea. Reunir los mejores musicos del genero Timba y hacer una produccion de calidad. Los amantes de la Timba no estaran decepcionados al oir lo que sera el mejor album de Timba de este año. Gracias a la colaboracion de Giraldo Piloto y su Klimax, Cesar Pedroso, Julio Padron, Manolito Simonet y Sixto Llorente. Te dejaran agotados por la energia que te absorbera esta produccion.

"Con temas instrumentales pero las que te haran gozar son las sessiones en La Habana donde la candela se prende cuando los metales comeinzan a hablar.

"Yo que no soy fanatico de esta onda Cubana, he hecho un giro de 180 grados al escuchar la ferocidad y sentimiento de este bandon. Wolfer debe ser encomendado por reunir estos leones musicales y producir un trabajo excepcional. (JR)"

Por Mariela Di Mauro en de Argentina:

"Es evidente que en Mamborama están presentes tanto el son cubano como la descarga, la timba y el songo, pero también se denotan evidencias del latin jazz americano, lo que hace de este grupo un Mambo inigualable...

"Si hablamos de mambo... hablamos de Mamborama."

Here's a review by Michael Peters at in the original German here, or translated by Google here (opens in a new window).

And from Italy, Stefano Santini reviews the CD at, and is translated by Google here.

Reviews: Night Of The Living Mambo

Manolito Simonet,
Manolito Y Su Trabuco
Havana, Cuba

"Nobody's playing Latin Jazz like this!"
Nengue Hernandez
Los Angeles, California
By Ben Ohmart

Bill Wolfer, Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer, and now pianist for Mamborama, wanted 'this cd to sound so Cuban you could smell the cigars'. The man got his wish. If the word Mambo actually translates to 'never sit down', Wolfer has grabbed at your pants with about 10 musicians and they aren't letting you go.

It's only track 2, but by the time you get to 'Ritmo Rico', and by the time the 6.5 minute swing piece ends, you could be plumb tuckered. 'Nadie Sabe' is up next, and it dances all the way to your lover. Though you might want to sit this one out. The romance it exudes isn't intrusive with high horns and horse racing rhythms. Wolfer's cool jazz-extended solo makes half of 6 minutes fly by without breaking your neck.

Progressively slowing up so that even the old folks can dance, 'La Noche en Habana' pulls the whole notes out of the horns and sets the piano up for chords rather than hustling scales, letting you venture into the romantic mood first before you buy. It's the song you want to use to slip closer to your lover's neck. The hips will still move, but you can grab your woman with both hands and sink into the beautiful melody together. Uh oh. Strike that. It's heating up. Old man, go sit down.

51 minutes seem longer when there's so much jammed in there. Rod Kokolj on tenor sax and Humberto 'Nengue' Hernandez are especially prolific when their moments come to shine. Of course for Hernandez, he isn't given the chance to let up.

Latin Jazz Net
By Danilo Nava

Pianist, composer and producer Bill Wolfer gets deep into Cuban music with "Night of the Living Mambo." But not without adding his own interpretations and giving to the arrangements a distinct sense of originality. With all compositions penned by Wolfer, Mamborama's debut cd give us powerful, up-tempo performances, showcasing experienced players who know how to create excitement.

More than jazz, this is a modern -yet close to the roots- approach to Cuban-American music. Very rhythmical and appealing. Besides the quality of interpretation, the technical aspect of the recording is remarkable.
By Bruce Polin

Editor’s Pick: Here is a no-nonsense, helluva lotta fun, get up and dance, mambo-jazz release from this west-coast band which includes some of our favorite players like flautist Arty Webb and violinista Susie Hansen. Excellent compositions by pianist Bill Wolfer.Picadillo
By Bruce Ishikawa

California pianist Bill Wolfer diverted from the pop songwriting roots which earned him a Grammy nomination to fool around with Latin music. He started out part time, “just for fun” and got hooked. He travelled to Cuba to study with Manolito Simonet and Marcos Greco of Klimax, then once he had put together enough tunes he went into an LA studio to record “Night of the Living Mambo”. The striking thing about this album is that there are no lead vocals. There is a coro on many tunes, but horns play the lead lines. Wolfer calls this a “Latin jazz” group, but what the listener hears sounds like nearly pure Cuban music. The sound was “Cubanized” when Wolfer brought in an all-Cuban percussion section of conguero Nengue Hernandez, timbalero Jimmy Branley and drummer Alan Diaz. Rounding out the core band are Bill Saitta on Bass, Ron Kokolj on woodwinds, John Gronberg and Luis Eric blowing trumpets and Wolfer driving the piano. Flautist Art Webb and our friend Suzy Hansen on that smokin’ violin make guest appearances on several tunes. “Night of the Living Mambo” is a fine example of what someone with a bit of imagination can do to inject new life into fairly traditional musical forms to come up with something special that no one has heard before.

Latin Jazz
By Erik Chico Manqueros
Host & Producer of The Latin Style of Jazz
Contributing writer Latin Style Magazine

Are you ready for some hot, tasty Latin Jazz? Sure you are. Are you ready to move and groove to the hip swinging sounds of a new group called MamboRama? I am highly convinced that once you hear this talented new group you will definitely be hooked. This debut recording from Mamborama is just what you need.

Being a Host of a Latin Jazz radio program, I am very fortunate to come across great recordings weekly. I especially enjoy hearing self-produced projects. In my opinion these recordings are some of the best due to the artist being able to stretch out and have fun. These guys as you will see are having some fun and then some.

Latin Jazz has enjoyed resurgence in recent times and the music has become popular worldwide. The hip and sophisticated sounds of Jazz mixed with pulsing Latin rhythms and Latin percussion makes our music (Latin Jazz) irresistible. I mean what is better than hearing the groove of a sweet melodic Cha-Cha or a driving Mambo? Not much. Speaking of Mambos, you will hear some very hip swinging stuff here. This is not the synthetic type but the real deal! From the opening number "Cuba Te Llama" you will be convinced.

What makes this such a great recording, note the word great, is that this is all original material. Leader and Pianist Bill Wolfer, delivers some wonderful hard driving material here. Complimented with a group of seasoned and well-tuned musicians this recording is destined to become a Latin Jazz classic. Check out the gorgeous mambo "Nadie Sabe" and the grooving Cha Cha "La Noche en Habana" you will be toe-tapping in no time flat. Keep your dancing chanclas ready though the rest of the CD swings! The suave "Ritmo Rico" and "Chocolate" will inspire you. L.A. Latin Jazz legend, Susie Hansen lends hear musical touch on a few tracks and she cooks.

The CD also features a strong percussion section headed up by Humberto "Nengue" Hernandez on Congas and Various percussion. Alan Diaz on drums is solid throughout and I was very impressed by the Timbalero, Jimmy Branly. Although, I have not heard of him previous to this recording I know that this guy can play! Bill Saitta on bass is also very impressive.

The solid horn section of Rod Kokolj on Tenor Sax and Flute along with John Gronberg Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Luis Eric heard on trumpet on a few tracks, who incidentally is heard on the new Cuba L.A. recording DOS, will have you asking for more. A personal favorite of mine and long time Latin Jazz legend, Artie Webb is also on the disc and is a wonderful compliment to this swinging group.

Well what else can be said? I am not much for clichés especially the ones you have seen on liner notes that say "Check this out" or "Play it loud." However, in the Case of MamboRama I would have to say yes "Play it loud and Check it out." Take it from me after the first note I was hooked. Enjoy.

Keep Enjoying Latin Jazz!
Erik Chico Manqueros
Host & Producer: The Latin Style of Jazz
Contributing writer, Latin Style Magazine





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