One of the most electrifying acts to have emerged in recent years, New Regency Orchestra announce their highly anticipated debut album on Mr Bongo with their first single, ‘Labasta Llego’. A reimagining of Rafael Labasta’s 1972 original, the group have delivered a contemporary take on this sublime serving of Afro-Cuban jazz energy.

Photo By Walter Wojnarowski

Harnessing the fusion of ideas that exploded out of New York’s melding of jazz and Latin during the ‘50s to the ‘70s, New Regency Orchestra are an 18-piece big band that has been setting the scene alight on stage. Led by artistic director Lex Blondin, the group are a hand-picked line-up of some of London’s finest Latin and jazz musicians. Providing a fresh spin on a selection of the seminal songs that emanated out of that golden era, they bring a contemporary radiance to their recordings.

Originally written in 1972 by Dominican trumpeter and orchestra leader Rafael Labasta, who played with greats such as Kako, Cortijo y Su Combo and even The Big 3: Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente, ‘Labasta Llego’ is a salsa-infused track bursting with colour and creativity. Congas, cowbells and timbales dance around bandleader Eliane Correa’s joyous keys providing an infectious rhythm on New Regency Orchestra’s version. With the rhythm locked, a wall of horns blasts you straight to the shores of the Dominican Republic. One of two vocal tracks from the album, Jose Cesar’s expressive vocal tones, backed by Flavio Correa add to the Latin spice, as Nick Walters steps forward for a spirited and spellbinding trumpet solo.

“It’s one of our live anthems and it always goes down a storm. The music speaks for itself. It’s impossible to keep your hips still with this one!”

Lex sums up the single perfectly,