New Regency Orchestra (LP)

New Regency Orchestra (LP) cover
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New Regency Orchestra
New Regency Orchestra (LP)

[ Mr Bongo / LP ]

Release Date: Friday 14 June 2024

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Announcing the debut album from one of London's most electrifying acts, New Regency Orchestra. An 18-piece Afro-Cuban jazz big band, inspired by the musical melting pot of NYC in the 1950s, but with the punch and power of a whole host of London's best Latin and jazz musicians. Blowing new life into these compositions, the album is a reimagining of some of the finest music from that golden era. From early 1950s René Hernandez and Tito Puente, through to the 1970s salsa of Rafael Labasta and Orlando Marin, produced and performed with fresh fire.

NRO is the brainchild of its artistic director, and the man behind Total Refreshment Centre and co-founder of Church of Sound, Lex Blondin. Through a long-held passion for jazz, Lex discovered the explosive Afro-Cuban rhythms of mid-1940s NYC via the godfather of Afro-Cuban jazz, Mario Bauzá. A time when two musical worlds collided in a fusion of creativity and energy, jazz luminaries like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker joining forces with Cuban greats like Machito and Chano Pozo. This vibrant sound was music to dance to and found a home at The New York Palladium, a formative space of freedom and expression that was key to the scene's development.

Enlisting the expertise of some of the capital's finest talent, Lex and co-captain Andy Wood, of Como No fame, put together a world-class line-up of talent. Bringing in Eliane Correa as musical director and bandleader, a fluid and interchanging 18-piece band was formed.

The album itself is a hand-picked selection of timeless Afro-Cuban jazz classics, reimagined with NRO's unbridled energy. It contains ten incredible instrumental tracks including 'Pregon' with its anthemic horn stabs and the addictive head nod bounce of 'Mambo Rama', alongside two scorching vocal numbers in 'Papa Boco' and 'Labasta Llego'. Coupling a heavyweight rhythm section with a wall of horns, they provide a fresh spin on songs from Tito Puente and Chico O'Farrill, René Hernandez through to Rafael Labasta.


Mambo Herd
Fiesta Time
Para Los Papines
Sahib & Tito
Scarlet Mambo Hour
Papa Boco
Labasta Llego
Mambo Rama (Lex Blondin Rework)
Mango Walk
Harlem Jamboree