The opening track of Clave Heart, Entre Dongan y Arden, starts with Batá and a chant for the orisha Ellegua–who in Yoruban culture is a primordial spirit that opens the roads of life for those of us on the earthly plane. Where roads in our lives cross or collide, Ellegua will be present, creating our decisions and struggles. This is an appropriate way to open our continuing journey to find the meeting place of musical cultures on Clave Heart, and equally fitting to the title of this song–which pays tribute to two adjacent streets that embody the cultural crossroads of Irish and Dominican immigrants of our saxophonist Paul Carlon's neighborhood of Inwood in New York city.
With the open and spontaneous aesthetic of New York City's jazz scene combined with inspiration drawn from traditional folkloric music of the Americas, Grupo Los Santos continues to explore their unique collective sound on their third release, Clave Heart. Here, the quartet of saxophonist Paul Carlon, guitarist Peter Smith, bassist David Ambrosio, and drummer William "Beaver" Bausch, adds batá drums, Afro-Cuban chants, and guests, flute virtuoso Kaori Fujii and long-time collaborator, vocalist and body-percussionist Max Pollak, to create a wide spectrum of sound and texture throughout this dynamic set of original compositions.