This musical offering features lively Latin and Latin-fusion instrumental music. This group has a two-decade track record that’s attracted an international audience through concerts and eight previous best-selling albums.

This acoustic-focused group mixes it up by fusing their Latin roots with pop and dance music genres, highlighted with passionate melodies, fiery arrangements, and slick guitar work. The opening track “Monte Carlo” sets the stage with a densely layered instrumental ensemble led by the talented Jim Stubblefield, Jean-Pierre Durand, and bass-and-guitar player Liza Carbe. Track 3: Running shifts the tempo somewhat to a more adult-contemporary jazz idiom. Track 5: Don’t Pretend is a super-fun funky R&B type of song with swingy Latin guitar leads. Track 6: Blue Bolero leans toward a very traditional bolero song form with a sexy, slinky melody over pulsing rhythms. Track 7: Morning in Maui is a lovely ballad accompanied by strings to give a more orchestral texture.

Track 11: Limitless uses an upbeat dance rhythm to produce a song full of energy and vitality. The developmental section includes a piano lead that gives a refreshing contrast to the guitar leads. The final Track 12: Amazon River Hoedown wraps up the album with a good old foot-stomping country-style dance number. This lively song includes harmonica and fiddle licks with sizzling high-paced riffing to create an infectiously fun song.

This is a good party or road trip album. The songs are generally upbeat and nicely ordered to create an arc of different musical styles, tempos, and rhythms that keep the music fresh and interesting.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Incendio
12 tracks, 53 minutes
CD: $13.57, mp3 $9.49