The opening track, Mr. B’s Mambo, leaves no doubt about the direct lineage to the Big 3 Machito, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodriguez - an original Mambo at its finest with anything but subtle hints at the great Mambos from the ’50s.
After quickly establishing the bridge to the past, PMO moves on to the likely 2020 Summer hit “Mi Carnaval”, a blockbuster dance track!
If there was ever any doubt regarding the highest caliber of PMO’s musicianship, the next track “Mambo Rachmaninoff” will silence those voices forever! A brilliant arrangement by co-leader Christian Tumalan of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto, that pays homage to one of the most beautiful Piano Concertos of the Romantic Period combined with Cuban Danzón, Mambo, Guaguancó, and even Tango rhythms, that will lead the listener on a breathtaking musical journey.
The following track is the gorgeous Ballad “Le Temps d’un Horizon”, penned by co-leader Steffen Kuehn. Lead singer Christelle Durandy wrote the achingly beautiful lyrics in her native French language mixed with English.
“Through the Fire” written by David Foster and sung by Chaka Khan has been recorded many times, but PMO’s version is certainly one that sticks out due to the horn-heavy arrangement and dazzling vocals by Lead singer Armando Córdoba. Percussionist and 14 time Grammy Award Winner Karl Perazzo (current member with Carlos Santana) honors the perfect mix between Latin and American R&B with his irresistible grooves.
The next piece of music is the well-known Jazz standard “A Night in Tunisia”, written by Dizzy Gillespie. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to hear trumpeter Jon Faddis on this great arrangement with a blistering solo, who was mentored by Dizzy. In addition, Latin Jazz Grammy® Award winner Drummer Dafnis Prieto from Cuba provides the rhythmical foundation to this slamming Latin Jazz track and is also featured with an awesome solo.
The following selection features Italian Jazz & Blues Guitarist Alex Britti on a Cha Cha entitled “Birks Works”, again written by Dizzy Gillespie.
The album ends with Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, another unexpected selection on this remarkable recording.
“I have followed the trajectory of PMO for a long time. What can I say about The III Side ... Truly an exquisite and varied work with first-order arrangements and interpretations. The arrangement of A Night In Tunisia is as refreshing as having a good beer by the sea in El Viejo San Juan. The interpretation of Omi Ye Ye by Herman Olivera blew my mind. My mind was not prepared for that. I still get the chills every time I hear PMO. In short, this work of PMO "is a stick", "tremendous mazacote" as we say the Puerto Ricans. ” - DJ José Concepción
“Congratulations on your work. I will continue to spread your beautiful work around here in the south of Brazil!” - Miguel Zuleta
“Music with capital letters, The III Side is by far the best recording of the Pacific Mambo Orchestra and enrolls in its own right as one of the best of 2020. In this phonogram, they reach a degree of maturity that positions them as an institution.” - DJ Chino