Garrett Saracho

En Medio
(Verve)

This lost 1973 landmark Chicano jazz album is newly available. It’s a combination of jazz, funk, Latin soul and rock, rescued for modern audiences.

There are nearly a dozen people playing on En Medio. The opening track, “Sunday’s Church,” shifts up and down often as the combined star pianist and Fender Rhodes player Garrett Saracho competes with himself, tiptoeing around and then ripping his instruments apart. “Happy Sad” is a bit more mannered, bringing in a violinist. Then, “Rose For A Lady” is a spectacular blend of a saxophonist (Lawrence “Patience” Higgins) and Mendio on piano.

Flipping the record over, “Senor Bakor” starts off with a lot of mood and percussion, but then Saracho hangs back to give his horn players some room to breathe, until his guitarist, James Herndon, comes in and shuts this down with a breathtaking solo.

The disc ends with “Conquest De Mejico,” an apparently live recording that showcases a lot of quick work between drums, bass, sax and piano.

En Medio exists again. Long live.