POP MUSIC REVIEW : Rudy Regalado, Chevere Look Ready for Prime Time

For years, Venezuelan Rudy Regalado and his Chevere orchestra were a staple at such celebrations as L.A. Fiesta Broadway and smaller free events. But after his last two performances at the House of Blues, he looks ready for prime time.

His concert there on Tuesday--a spot he earned following a stirring set there opening for Cachao last September--was a high-volume display of skills by a 15-piece orchestra that left no doubt about its ability to share a bill with the very best.

For more than two hours, Regalado used big-band power instead of the safe formula of standard dance numbers. He's known as a salsa artist, but salsa was only a small part of the package as he stayed closer to Latin jazz and used all his ammunition on long solos and long songs.

Tributes to Latin jazz pioneers Machito and Mario Bauza were among the highlights, and his three Peruvian singers could rate a show of their own--especially Tanya Sanchez , a powerhouse with personality to burn.

With this concert, perhaps his most important ever, Regalado graduated convincingly. He clearly has what it takes to become a major figure in Latin pop.

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