The Sun, San Bernadino County Friday, August 25, 1995 Concert Review
Someone once said there is nothing happening here in the Inland Empire in the summer.
One wonders what strange tastes such a person might have because there usually is a wide choice of things to do in the arts, and many styles--from classical to popular--from which to pick.
One of these arts events is a series in Rialto called simply, "Concerts in the Park." This is a pop series and on Tuesday, Susie Hansen's Latin Band performed.
Salsa, both the eating kind and the musical kind, takes a while to get used to. It is hot and spicy--part jazz, part Latin. And once one's musical taste buds have been exposed to it, it's just plain fun.
The Susie Hansen Latin Band is a good group to hear for one's first formal encounter with the salsa style. These are good musicians who play with good ensemble and spirit and they had the good luck, or wisdom--perhaps both--to have a good sound person Tuesday.
Leader Susie Hansen is an accomplished violinist who would be an asset to any of our area's orchestras. Playing an electric violin, she was able to change tone colors at will and her classical training was evident. From the complicated-sounding double stops and glissandos to the extreme, full-sounding high notes, Hansen made it all seem like child's play.
Salsa was the musical fare for the evening and even such composers as Duke Ellington and Count Basie were well played in salsa style. There is enough variety in salsa so that effective use can be made of music from other styles.
The rest of the band also was excellent. Mark Gutierrez on keyboards provided a good harmonic background as well as his fine solo playing. Bass guitarist Jon Pintoff provided a solid bass line in addition to effective solo work.
Jorge Balmaseda on drums and congas and Tiki (no last name) on drums provided good solid beat and showed that they knew not only how, but also when, to play percussion.
The City of Rialto's summer Concerts in the Park series concludes Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Rialto City Park, Riverside and San Bernadino venues.
For more information, call (909) 820-2612, ext. 2308
Ralph Andrews has a doctorate in music, has performed as a flutist across the United States and Europe, is on the board of the Inland Theater League and is a free-lance writer and musician.