Spellbound Sampler: ¡Assorted Spanglish Favorites!

SRCD-8 ©2004 Sunyata Publishing/BMI

1) El Tropico (4:43) from 'Funqueros' featuring Johnny Polanco (Tres Guitar)

2) The Crown (3:33) from 'Funqueros' featuring Sonora (Lead Vocal)

3) Quien Llamo Pa' Rumba? (5:08) from 'Tropicalifornia'  featuring Johnny Polanco (Tres Guitar), Artie Webb (Flute) and Mike Daigeau (Trombones)

4) Let's Getaway (4:00) from 'Respect The Past/Respete El Pasado' featuring Sonra (Lead Vocal), Plas Johnson (Tenor Sax) and Mike Daigeau (Trombones)

5) Love Is A Wonderful Thing (5:11) from 'Respect The Past/Respete El Pasado' featuring Question Mark from ? And The Mysterians (Spoken Word Outro)

6) Fiesta Privada (4:29) Single featuring Charo Salinas (Lead Vocal) and Manny Silvera (Bass)

7) Voy A Cantar (4:18) from 'Respect The Past/Respete El Pasado'  featuring Johnny Polanco (Tres Guitar & Guiro) and Mike Daigeau (Trombones)

8) Ay, Que Rico Es (3:09) from 'Funqueros'

9) Don't Care Anymore (3:22) from 'Tropicalifornia' featuring Sonora (Lead Vocal)

10) Good Company (4:02) from 'Spellbound'

11) Love Sweet Love (4:13) from 'Tropicalifornia' featuring Manny Silvera (Bass)

12) Oye Como Va (Live) Live from the 'African Hearts & Latin Soul Festival' at the Hollywood Bowl (Sunday, July 7, 2002) Hosted by Tom Scnabel (KCRW 89.9FM)

featuring Mike Daigeau (Trombones), Robert Anthony Gil Jr, (Sax & Flute) and Robertito Melendez (Congas & Bell)

All Songs Written, Arranged and Produced by Paul Thomas and Bobby Moon

Copyright Sunyata Publishing (BMI)

Except Oye Como Va by Tito Puente (Full Keel Music Co./ASCAP)

Spellbound Sampler: ¡Assorted Spanglish Favorites!

Inner Sleeve info.

1) EL TROPICO (4:43)

Features L.A. salsa maestro Johnny Polanco who comments, "This song's got a hell of a hook!"  Could be the reason it continued to make #1 on MP3.com's Tropical charts. (FROM the CD "Funqueros" / SRCD-4) ©1999

"...this disc is a jewel of magnanimous proportions. And once you hear salsa master Johnny Polanco playing the Cuban tres guitar, you’ll be shakin’ a mean groove.

   Addictive would be the best adjective to describe Funqueros. One track will have you going on a nice Santana-like guitar and psychedelic boogie, while the next you’d swear Bernie Worrell is sitting in on keyboards. Co-founders Bobby Moon and Paul Thomas seem to be fluent in every form of dance music on the planet and use – and abuse – many of them on this disc. Some of the best tracks on Funqueros are the ones featuring Peruvian vocalist Charo Salinas and sultry diva Sonora. In the same way that legendary house producers Masters at Work teamed up India and Jocelyn Brown to great effect on their Nu Yorican album, Moon and Thomas use the women to create an air of mystery and allure. The results are almost always perfect, and I find it difficult to uncover my customary one fault with this album.

   If I were asked to pick the weakest part of Funqueros, I’d simply say, “I haven’t found one yet,” I highly recommend this to fans of Santana, P Funk, Tito Puente or Café Tacuba. But if you ask me, I like Spellbound more.

by Sean-Michael Yoder / Campus Circle (Sep. 1999/Vol.9/Issue14)


Made several playlists in 2002 & 2003 on college and Latin genre stations. "I remember walking into the session late & Johnny Polanco with Artie Webb had begun working on this track," recalls Bobby. "What resulted is a beautiful prelude created by these guys."


"Spellbound's latest is aptly titled, as it showcases the rich and diverse culture that can only be found in California. The Latin / funk owns a feel good attitude that leaves you tapping right along with the rhythm. As a testament to the band's uniqueness, songs are sung in both English and Spanish, sung by one Bobby Moon - a Korean American. Not bad, huh?" - Kham Lam/YOLK MAGAZINE (2002-Volume9/Number5)

3) THE CROWN (3:33)

A favorite and a regular in the summer of 1999 on 89.9 FM KCRW's Cafe L.A. (A show hosted by author and World musicologist Tom Schnabel) and features Sonora in her Spellbound debut.

(FROM the CD "FUNQUEROS"/SRCD-4) ©1998

"Spellbound is a Los Angeles-based outfit that has been recording since 1990. Funqueros, released in 1999, is its first to receive national distribution. The band’s music is funk-based rock with heaps of Latin-influenced rhythms. There’s a polished feel to many of the group’s songs with the opening “Tune You Up’ and the jazz-rocking “Siente” as the most immediate impressive. Several cuts offer sophisticated R&B and feature guest vocalist Sonora, while the whole disc has a joyous dance groove to it." - Mick Skidmore/RELIX (Feb00/Vol.27, #1)

4) LET'S GETAWAY (4:00)

Features sax legend Plas Johnson, who was honored with a "Lifetime Achievement Award" by L.A. Jazz Society on Oct. 2003, when asked how he felt about Spellbound, he replied, "I love the band..the recording quality, the package and the juice."


"Here was a really fun band, fronted by musicians who really knew music and knew how to play and produce. And, to my delight, there was plenty of clave, funk, and nice Latin grooves in the mix.

So here's Spellbound's long-awaited new album Respete El Pasado [Respect The Past]. There are guest performances by flutist Artie Webb and other fine musicians including Plas Johnson & Johnny Polanco, some great tunes, and lots of good dancing. I think they're a terrific outfit with a bright future. Put the new CD into your sound system and see if you don't agree." - Tom Schnabel (Cafe L.A./KCRW 89.9 FM)


Features Question Mark from the Mysterians, a legendary rock group who penned "96 Tears," which is considered the rock song ever written by CNN. Met Q & the band when they were in town to play a show and became friends. He wanted to comment on the theme of this song and was able to express and record it via telephone.


"Spellbound is led by Paul Thomas and Bobby Moon, producers and composers of all the selections with Moon handling most of the lead vocals, minor percussions and some synthesizers. Thomas is the musical boy wonder handling the main duties on keyboard, Hammond B-3 organ, programming, guitar, talk box and background vocals...Reminiscent of Davis Byrne’s Rey Momo days is a selection Wonderful Thing, which also features a cameo by singer Question Mark on a telephone voice. Special guest artists featured in this recording include flutist Artie Webb, trombones courtesy of Johnny Polanco and Plas Johnson, and Linda & David LaFlamme. The music and style of Spellbound is the sound brewed daily throughout the urban streets of Los Angeles. There is some clave, funk, dance, Latin grooves, and plenty of soulful goodies in this production. Respect The Past is a refreshing alternative to post-mainstream urban music." - Rudy Mangual/LATIN BEAT MAGAZINE (May 2002 - Vol.11/No.4)


A track from the RESPETE EL PASADO sessions that didn't make it on the CD and features Charo. This track was available on MP3.com for a short time and even received a rave review from an online publication (see below). Available for the first time on CD.

"As a reviewer, I'm always up for a challenge. I like to review tracks in styles that I'm not completely immersed in, and I think it can be to an artist's benefit to get an outsider's perspective occasionally. With this in mind I was delighted to find Spellbound's "Fiesta Privada" waiting in the review queue. The opening of this track caught me completely off guard...From here on out, this track is pure heaven. Charo Salina's exquisite and delicate singing is wonderful (although, since I don't speak Spanish, I will refrain from giving the lyrics a numerical rating), and is perfectly complimented by a brilliant (albeit conventional) salsa arrangement. The percussion playing is exquisite - subtle but grooving. The recording quality is excellent, and it's clear that considerable attention has been paid to sonic detail...the more I listen to it, the more I want to lounge by some large body of water with a frilly girl-drink. I urge you all to break out the silly umbrellas, listen to this track, and meet me by the pool." - VAN DER ROHE/GODS OF MUSIC (Review of the exclusive MP3 only singel "FIESTA PRIVADA" - JUNE, 2001)

7) VOY A CANTAR (4:18)

A tribute to the late great band leader Mario Bauza. "VOY A CANTAR/I'M GOING TO SING" made #12 on Miami's WDNA 88.9 FM


"Ahora, Spellbound Recordings (sic) y Spellbound unen nuevamente su talento para presentamos "Respete El Pasado / Respect The Past", un homanaje original de los artistas que han influenciado a Spellbound en su pasado musical: Les Baxter, Mario Bauzá, Jerry Garcia, Jimmy Hendrix, Benny Moré, Tito Puente, Elvis Presley y John Lennon, por soló mencionar a algunos. Los temas fueron grabados en cerca de 50 sesiones con mucho de los más importantes músicos de ambas costas, entre ellos Matthew Jensen, Artie Webb, Johnny Polanco, Bartel Diks y Sonora. De los 10 cortes, no se pierdan las pegajosa "Suave" y "Yo Puedo Vivir Asi", ambas con Charo Salinas en vocales y "Up and Down", un sexapiloso "funk" recomendado para hacer bailar hasta  a los que no tienen ritmo." - Pepe Marquez/VISTA USA (Mar. 2001/Vol. VII/No.66)

8) AY, QUE RICO ES (3:09)

"AY, QUE RICO ES/HOW RICH IT IS" hit #1 more then a few throughout 1999 & 2000 on MP3.com's tropical Charts.


"Describing Spellbound's music as infectious would be a bit like describing the Mississippi River as a creek. L.A.'s masters of dance, Funk, and Latin rhythms made music with more bite than Salsa-doused jalapenos." - Kali H./LISTEN.COM (Review - March '00)


Sonora is featured on this Salsoul-style groover with a Brazillian twist. She reflects, "I really the lyrics to this song. It came at a time when I really needed it.


"Spellbound was formed in the early 1990s by two Los Angeles musicians sharing a common love of funk. Latin, psychedelic, and electronic music. Paul Thomas and Bobby Moon wee early purveyors of electronic dance music in L.A., performing with various line-ups since their formative years...2002 also brought the release of their current CD Tropicalifornia, and ain’t that the truth, which follows their successful formula, but which has been refined and mastered for our benefit." -el Sabor de Nuestra Musica/LATIN STYLE MAGAZINE (2002-Issue No.46)

10) GOOD COMPANY (4:02)

From Spellbound's out-of-print 1996 debut & still a live audience favorite. "Good Company" was featured on L.A.'s 101.9 fm's "Local Band Showcase," hosted by Mimi Chen, later that same year. Released in MP3 format in 2000, it reached #3 on the MP3.com's Tropical chart.


"While some might consider it impossible to carve out new territory in the Latin music genre, Spellbound, in their self-titled CD, has managed to do just that. Mixing jazz, Latin rhythms and funk (yes, funk), Spellbound has a unique concoction that reminded me a bit of some of Steely Dan's work in the '70's." - Garrison Frost/THE BEACH REPORTER (Aug. 1997-Vol.21/No.29)

11) LOVE SWEET LOVE (4:13)

This version is from an interview on 90.7 fm KPFK's "Canto Tropical" show hosted by Hector Resendez & Kathy Diaz.


"El titulo de este álbum lo dice todo. La carátula también. Y es que de eso se trata, precisamente, esta grabación: de la influencia “tropical”, especificamente los ritmos afrocubanos, en ese estado de la union norteamericana llamado California. En “Tropicalifornia”, el grupo Spellbound adecuadamente capture parte de la diversidad musical que caracteriza  al llamando estado dorado. “Tropicalifornia” no pretende ser un disco de “salsa” o una joya de la música afrocubano. Es un disco divertido, diferente, y especial, que representa muy bien la diversidad cultural y musical de California. Y eso es suficiente para mi. - Eric Gonzalez/OASIS SALSERO.com (Dec. 2002)


©Tito Puente (Full Keel Music Co./ASCAP)

Live from the "African Hearts & Latin Soul Festival" at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL in July 2002 Hosted by Tom Schnabel (KCRW 89.9fm). Our tribute to the late, great Tito Puente.

"One of the summer’s most anticipated concert events took place on Sunday, July 7, 2002, at the Hollywood Bowl as part of the Bowl’s World Music Summer Series. The event, titled African Heart/Latin Soul, celebrated the global grooves of masters Hugh Masekela and Eddie Palmieri. Opening the event was the New York-based Cuban/pop group Yerba Buena and LA’s own Ozomatli, featuring vibrant and eclectic multi-ethnic sounds. Both Masekela and Palmieri’s individual sets were very short, with the highlight of the event climaxing with a special collaboration by both masters on several tunes closing the evening. The local group Spellbound played the pre-event concert hosted by Tom Schnabel (Hollywood Bowl’s Director of World Music and KCRW radio personality) showcasing their unique sounds to a hefty crowd of early concertgoers." - QUE PASA EN L.A./LATIN BEAT MAGAZINE - Sep. 2002 [Vol.12/No.6]

Back Cover of Paul Thomas and Bobby Moon perfecting the Spellbound formula!