Indestructible is one of Barretto's most solidly consistent efforts, a series of Afro-Cuban rhythms and song styles illustrated by a stomping band that knows how to move the classic material in a jazz manner into improvisation and then back again. The opener, "El Hijo de Oblata," is a case in point: a piano line playing a steaming son line sets the base for the horn section to widen it; next comes the chorus on the vocal melody, propped up all around by an army of percussionists, and they all meld together before the tempo slows momentarily and slips into a five/eight Latin-tinged jazz number where the pianist takes a solo rich in arpeggios, and smooths the rough-edged rhythms out with large augmented and suspended chords.
Percussionist/bandleader/composer Johnny Blas is a New York native who has performed and recorded in the world of Jazz and Latin music for over 25 years. He is one of the few conga players on the West Coast who leads his own band. "Indestructible Spirit", Johnny's first record in the 21st century, swings hard in places, is funky throughout, and never stops grooving whether on an uptempo mambo or a jazz ballad with layers of percussion.