Critic's Choice

Los Hombres Calientes

Time seemed to be on the side of Los Hombres Calientes, who appear Thursday, December 28, at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, when the six-piece Latin jazz band debuted with a fine self-titled release in 1998. While mainstream America was waking up to the saucy possibilities of Latin, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban rhythms, these "hot men" offered a sophistication that transcended the vida-loca-loving pop artists braving a similar crossover. Affiliation and genealogy didn't hurt, either: Percussionist Bill Summers was already familiar through his work with Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder, while drummer Jason Marsalis is yet another descendant of the first family of popular jazz. Since then, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield has carved out a name all his own with his spirited playing; this spring, he and his hombres were awarded Billboard's Latin Jazz Album of the Year award. If you can't take the heat, you might want to avoid the show.

 
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