The Delgado Brothers - Learn To Fly

Learn to FlyLos Angeles jazz, rock and blues jams are frequently heavily infused with latin percussion; Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Alvin Lee guitar licks; George Duke, Willie Dixon, Berry Oakley and James Johnson bass runs; and horns. Oh yes, the horns. Although they rarely take the lead, they act as point and counter-point. Quick blasts of power followed by torrents of blues guitar licks. When the music slows an Angeleno mestizo Eagles sound – a mixture of country, blues, folk and rock - predominates. And, of course, all of it is layered in an often hypnotic blues, country or latin-tinged rhythm punctuated by lead and background vocals. That summarizes The Delgado Brothers and the contents of their September 2009 release, Learn to Fly.

The Delgado Brothers are actually brothers. Bob plays bass. Joey sings and plays guitar and Steve sings and plays drums. The brothers add David Kelley on keyboards and Vincent Bisetti on percussion and drums to round out the working band. For Learn to Fly the boys also called in Tower of Power trumpeter Lee Thornberg to write the horn arrangements and play trumpet, flugel, French horn and valve trombone along with saxophonist Paulie Cerra and trombonist Arturo Velasco. Hawthorne, CA slide guitarist Dave Melton was brought in to assist on one track "Be The One." Ramon Bands and Ray Solis add latin percussion. As a special treat The Chambers Brothers provide background vocals on the track If The World.

The first track on the album is "Learn to Fly." Santana-esqe guitar riffs waif over driving latin smooth jazz rhythms backed by mellow horns and fronted by Steve Delgado’s vocals with the help of his brother Joey. Next up, an up tempo funk blues piece called "I Wanna Know" sung by Steve with the help of San Pedro blues goddess Sherry Pruitt. "I Wanna Know" contains some incredibly tasty guitar work by Joey. Steve slows the tempo down with "In Time," a song executed in a manner reminiscent of the early Ten Years After song "Let The Sky Fall." Those incredible Santana-like guitar licks and latin rhythms return in the track "Man Without A Plan."

The song "Be The One" is radio candy. Think vintage Doobie Brothers, Little River Band or Little Feat. Then comes a funk-inspired blues bass-laden dance tune Melissa with its "What Is Hip?"-like Tower of Power horn arrangement and counter-vocals. The brothers back it down a notch with the slow blues number "If The World." The Chambers Brothers’ background vocals help turn it into a soulful, gut-wrenching mood piece. Then it is time to visit Louisiana with the catchy New Orleans jazz Hand Jive number "Lafayette." A country blues love song "Our Love Is Complete" follows on the heels of the trip to the bayou. The album moves on to Motown with "All I Have," returns to the West Coast with "All About The Love," a folksy jazz alternative rock crossover song, and concludes with"Oh Brother," an autobiographical tear-jerker of a ballad about brotherly love.

For 30 years The Delgado Brothers have been living and playing in Los Angeles. Their sound is clean, clear and distinctly Angeleno – a fusion of all the pop, jazz and rock music styles that, over the years, have come to record in LA. With a distinctive mixture of styles, and east Los Angeles latin-tinged rhythms, The Delgado Brothers capture in their music the demographic mix of the Southland and they might just capture you.

- Old School

Buy here: Learn To Fly


Anonymous said…
I just heard The Delgado Bros. @ BEST BUY in MONTEBELLO. What a nice bunch of guys! Entire family was genuine and generous. THESE guys ROCK! ~SCOTT