Estrada Brothers | Two For The Road

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Jazz: Latin Jazz Latin: Brazilian Jazz Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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Two For The Road

by Estrada Brothers

Sensual and pulsating latin versions of jazz standards and originals by a vibraphone driven ensemble resulting in listenable and danceable jazz, period.
Genre: Jazz: Latin Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Tanya
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5:40 $0.99
2. In Your Own Sweet Way
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6:08 $0.99
3. Viva Niles (For Chuck Niles)
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7:21 $0.99
4. Emily
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6:44 $0.99
5. Ojos Latinos (For Esther Ramirez)
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5:35 $0.99
6. Cuban Fantasy
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6:48 $0.99
7. Two For The Road
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5:29 $0.99
8. Encanto
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5:18 $0.99
9. Spanish Grease
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3:36 $0.99
10. Song For Marie
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6:08 $0.99
11. Bossadelia
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4:33 $0.99
12. All The Things You Are
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4:23 $0.99
13. Bailadora
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3:52 $0.99
14. Look To The Sky
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5:43 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Ruben Estrada was born March 18, 1938 in Ventura County, California. He is the youngest of seven brothers and two sisters. He comes from a musical family. His father, Louis D. Estrada was a violinist who had a ten a piece orchestra in the 1930's. Ruben started playing professionally as a drummer at the age often joining his old brother Angel's band. Unfortunately, due to the child labor laws at the time, somebody ratted Ruben out to the local authorities and he was put on the sidelines for several years. He continued his education and when he reached high school the musical director of Oxnard Union High School taught Ruben how to play the trumpet. He later took up the congas, bongos and all other percussion instruments. The piano was of course, the first instrument of all the brothers. Once he turned eighteen Ruben joined his brothers as a regular and permanent member of the Angel Estrada band. This was in 1956. The following year Ruben married his high school sweetheart Delia and started a family. It was a union that would last for forty- three years until Delia's untimely passing in 2000 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Throughout it all she demonstrated tremendous faith, optimism and bravery that was truly commendable and awe-inspiring.
Angel Estrada not only was the leader of the band but also owned and operated four salons in which all four of the brothers cut hair at. It was also he who decided that the group needed a vibraphone. In the late 50's and early 60's it seemed as if all latin groups were utilizing the instruments so Angel felt that his group needed one as well to remain current and competitive. He and the brothers all pitched in to purchase one. Angel played the piano in the band and when he switched to vibes Ruben would play piano behind him. Angel simply had no affinity for the instrument and lost interest in it almost immediately. This left Ruben who took to the vibes like a duck takes to water.
It was also around this time that Ruben became totally enamored with Cal Tjader. He was also a big fan of Tito Puente as well as local latin vibists Tony Martinez, Manny Lopez and Bobby Montez. However, Tjader was and always will be Ruben's main man. Ruben purchased every Tjader album he could get his hands on and attended every personal appearance Tjader made locally whenever he could.
The Angel Estrada band worked steadily and was in great demand in the Oxnard-Ventura-Santa Barbara area throughout the 1960's. They played music for all occasions; weddings, receptions, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. In the early 70's Angel and his wife went into real estate so he left the band. The remaining siblings, Bob, Henry and Ruben now became known as the Estrada Brothers band. The group continued to flourish into the 1980's until Bob left to pursue his own career, thus leaving Henry and Ruben to carry on the tradition of the Estrada Brothers. They did so throughout the 1990's. Henry only plays with the band once in a while now when he feels like it or on special occasions, usually when the gig is close to home. He is every bit the class act and outstanding musician that his brother Ruben is.
Ruben is now the sole heir (survivor might be a better word) to the Estrada Brothers legacy. Even son Cougar, who is now the regular drummer with the world renowned latin-rock band Los Lobos is only available to play with his dad when his busy schedule permits it, which isn't often. If it weren't for Ruben, the Estrada Brothers band would simply no longer exist. It would be like the Modern Jazz Quartet without Milt Jackson.
The Estrada Brothers band (or as it now should be called the Ruben Estrada Band) is still one of the most exciting latin- jazz bands around. Anywhere Ruben plays feels like a party whether he is playing at a party or not. This is not to suggest that Ruben or the many variations of his band are not serious musicians. Ruben's many groups have opened for such jazz legends and icons as Dave Brubeck and Stan Getz. He has also opened for Tito Puente, known as "El Rey" the king of latin- jazz who has been called the Duke Ellington of latin-jazz. These are very impressive credentials to say the least.
There are at least half a dozen other bands up and down the California coast that are fronted by vibists who play latin-jazz in the Cal Tjader tradition. I know all of them personally and am a friend, fan and supporter each. However, Ruben is the chairman of the board. This is not just my opinion. Ten years ago in 1995 conguero, band leader and former Tjader sideman Poncho Sanchez chose Ruben to play the vibes on his recording "Soul Sauce : Memories of Cal Tjader" which to me is a masterpiece that I feel should have won the grammy that year. It is among the best of Sanchez's many discs and this is due in large part to Ruben's participation and contribution to the project. Poncho Sanchez has the popularity, power, prestige and influence to have acquired the services of any number of big-name vibraphone superstars. The fact the he chose Ruben speaks volumes. Sanchez knew from the get-go that Ruben was the perfect candidate for the job. He was the only one who could fill Tjader's shoes convincingly. It would not have been the same or as good without him.
Of the three or four commercially released Estrada Brothers recordings only two are still available, "About Time" and "Get Out of My Way". This one, "Two for the Road", is without a doubt Ruben's best.
Ruben is a true artist who is sensitive yet not temperamental. He loves the creative process of the music itself but has no fondness whatsoever for the business end of it. That part he would gladly do without if he could. Unfortunately, that is simply not an option. He has to be a businessman at times whether he wants to be or not. He is at his best and most comfortable when he is behind his instrument in front of a large and enthusiastic audience. When he feels the warmth and affection from an attentive and appreciative crowd, he can truly be inspired to greatness. What he improvises with his mallets on his vibraphone comes directly from his heart and mind. It speaks louder and clearer than anything he or any one of us could ever say with words. It is his way of reciprocating the love and loyalty his following has given him by gathering to hear him in the first place.

(reprinted with permission by Mal Sands 2005)

Ruben Estrada: Vibes, Percussion, Vocals, Acoustic Piano during Vibe Solo on track 9

Henry Estrada: Tenor Saxophone

Bob Estrada: Percussion

Cougar Estrada: Drums, Percussion, Acoustic Piano_boogaloo riff on track 9

Jim Connolly: Upright Acoustic Bass on tracks 1 and 12
Rene Camacho: Acoustic Upright Bass, Electric Upright Bass, Baby Bass and Electric Bass on tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 13

Lenny Castro: Congas, Percussion on tracks 1 and 9
Joey De Leon Jr.: Congas on tracks 2, 4, 6, 7, and 11, Bongos on tracks 6 and 10
Bryan Brock: Congas on tracks 3, 5, 8, 13 and Cajon on track 13

Carlos Cuevas: Acoustic Piano on tracks 3, 6, 10 and 13. Rhodes Piano on track 7
Joe Rotondi Jr.: Acoustic Piano on tracks 2, 4, 5, 8, and 13, Rhodes Piano on track 11
Theo Saunders: Acoustic Piano on tracks 1 and 12

Gilberto Gonzalez: Acoustic Guitar on track 5
Luis Cabrera: Electric Guitar on track 9

Adolfo Acosta: Trumpet on track 6
Jeff Elliot: Trumpet on tracks 3 and 9
Gary LeFebvre: Tenor Saxophone on tracks 6 and 7
Edmund Velasco: Tenor Saxophone on tracks 1, 3, 6 and 14, Flute on tracks 5 and 13
Ruben Martinez: Bass Flute on track 7

Valerie Malvinni - Viola
Richard Biaggini - Violin
Laura Hackenstein - Violin
Claudia Kiser - Cello

PRODUCED BY: Cougar Estrada

This CD is dedicated to the Memory of Bob Alcocer


to write a review

Rudy Mangual (June 2006)

A mixed repertoire of original Estrada scores and cover tunes make for ah even d
The spirit of the music and sound of the late jazz great Cal Tjader is alive and well in the hands of the Estrada Brothers. The sound of the first opening notes by vibist Rubén Estrada instantly remind the listener of Tjader, a memory further enhanced by the talents and musicianship of this unique ensemble of family members and great friends. Following a musical legacy that started back in 1956 in Oxnard, California by Angel Estrada, the band has been active for more than half a century, performing throughout the Oxnard-Ventura- Santa Barbara area of Southern California. Rubén Estrada is the current standard bearer of the band, with brother Henry performing once in a while. Son Cougar Estrada, ocasionally stands in when he is not busy as the regular drummer for the world-renowned Latin-rock band Los Lobos. A mixed repertoire of original Estrada scores and cover tunes make for ah even dozen great Latin jazz tracks for all to enjoy. Favorites include the Tjader classic Tanya, Willie Bobo's Spanish Grease, and the title track, Two For the Road (a Henry Mancini composition).

lupita martinez

what can i say. they are truly great.
the cd was a real suprise because everything went together
so well.i enjoyed the music that was chozen and also the insruments how they all just blended so well.

Kevin Vazquez_PreDaTor Arts

Purchase several copies!
Great business gift for vibrant friends and business acquaintances.
Incredible music written with taste yet newness. Ruben has taken old songs and twisted them into new, unchartered territory. Purchase several copies of this CD for distribution to clients and business partners. I hope to see more albums from Estrada Brothers in the future! CEO, PreDaTor Arts & EnTerTainMent


Latin jazz alive and well in the USA
I've just became familiar with the Estrada Bros via satellite radio; never heard of them before. But in one selection I've become an avid fan; the spirit of Cal Tjader is still alive in their music. Hope this "family" organization continues their fine music ad infinitum. Definitely 5 stars.. no questions asked.

Mal Sands (Writer for LA Jazz Scene)

This one, "Two for the Road", is without a doubt Ruben's best.
Of the three or four commercially released Estrada Brothers recordings only two are still available, "About Time" and "Get Out of My Way". This one, "Two for the Road", is without a doubt Ruben's best.

Shelly Lee

I heard the song 'Cuban Fantasy' on 88.1 from the Chuck Niles studio. I purchased the CD the same hour.

Editors Pick!
From the opening track, the swinging Lonnie Hewitt track "Tanya," you can tell that vibe player Ruben Estrada has crafted a near perfect, fully danceable, latin jazz record. Listening on will confirm that these are gem-like arrangements rich in the traditions of both jazz and latin. The cha cha "In Your Own Sweet Way" (Dave Brubeck) will gently persuade you to, at least, consider dancing - or bemoan the fact that you have two left feet. There's something about a slow montuno that just calls for the timbales to roll on in. It's charm is in it's soulful groove. And there's a lot of charm on this project - an equal mix of jazz covers and original compositions. The covers include material by the likes of Johnny Mercer ("Emily"), Ray Bryant ("Cuban Fantasy" - which rocks hard here), Jerome Kern ("All The Things You Are") and, of course, the cover track - Henry Mancini's "Two For The Road." Ruben's vibe chops are bare none, and he especially shines here. Listen to him jam on the hard-soul track "Spanish Grease," made popular originally by Willie Bobo. Estrada's own compositions are rich in melody and sabor - his "Ojos Latino's" is one of the more hauntingly beautiful tracks I have heard in a while. The Estrada Brothers are a class act, and this one is their best yet. With Ruben, Henry, Bob and Cougar Estrada, Rene Camacho, congueros Lenny Castro, Joey De Leon and Bryan Brock. Many others.Highly Recommended.

Latin Beat Magazine (February 2006)

“The Estrada Brothers (featuring vibist Ruben Estrada) has been one of the West
“The Estrada Brothers (featuring vibist Ruben Estrada) has been one of the West Coast’s best bands, known for its unique sound. The new CD “Two For The Road” has “hit” written all over it. Rubens own compositions are the highlights here, along with other compositions by Dave Brubeck, Henry Mancini, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Lonnie Hewitt, Johnny Mercer, Johnny Mandel and Ray Bryant.”

Nelson Rodriguez - Latin Beat Magazine (February 2006)

Michael Ramirez

A World Class West Coast Latin Jazz Ensemble
The Estrada Brothers have been making music since the 1950's, dynamically blending Jazz, Latin and Afro-Cuban elements into their distinctive sound. Music style Latin Jazz Musical influences Cal Tjader Similar Artists Cal Tjader Artist history Since the 1950's, The Estrada Brothers have been catering to the diverse musical needs and tastes of Ventura County audiences as well as other parts of California, something they have thoroughly enjoyed. Inspired by their father, who was also a musician, five of the seven brothers have either played or have been part of the band at one time or another. In the late fifty's, after listening to the recordings of vibists Lionel Hampton, Tito Puente and most importantly Cal Tjader, the band brought in a set of "vibes" vibraphone [vibraharp], an instrument that would figure prominently in the Estrada Brothers sound. This effort is no different, outstanding!

Erik Chico Manqueros

Suave Latin Jazz!
The Sounds of Latin Jazz couldn't be any sweeter than with the sounds of this legendary unit of top notch musicians from Southern California. Ruben's sound on vibes will transform you and if you close your will remind you of the great sound that the Legendary Cal Tjader had and who's vision brought the West Coast sound of Latin Jazz into popularity. The Estrada Brothers are one swinging unit! This CD is a showcase of their great sound. Listen to sweet sound of Ruben on the vibes..(The CHicano Cal Tjader) what feeling and emotion are being eminated from those mallets...hijole... Check out their fine musica on my show Gozando with Chico on A Gozar con los Hermanos Estradas!
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