It’s not my style to make broad generalizations. But there is one I believe. If you listen to Latin jazz and don’t come away with something to smile about, something’s wrong with you. This thought came to mind while playing the joyful jam, “Cachita,” from the Bobby Sanabria Big Band’s Multiverse (Jazzheads, 2012).
The song has a bit of everything you expect. A lively rhythm. Rich percussion. A dynamic horn section. Playful vocals. And brilliant saxophone solos by John Beaty on alto and Jeff Lederer on tenor. And after a stunning, get on your feet and dance passage, the track calms down with an engaging electric bass solo by Leo Traversa, accompanied only by percussionists and an eventual vocal chant. The horns come back in for the riveting finale.

Sanabria is musical director and plays drum set with timbalitos, xylophone, maracas, organ and a variety of other instruments. He grew up in the South Bronx of New York, where he experienced a variety of musical styles, a confluence of sounds that led to the naming of this project. “Multiverse” jazz is rooted in music that migrated from Africa, Cuba, New Orleans, St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago and founts its way to New York.

Charanee Wade sings lead on the tranquil, elegant rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” completed by flute, muted trumpet and soft congas. The horns assist when needed. Wade’s voice is rich, soothing. The middle break has a series of solos by David Miller on trombone, Jonathan Barnes on trumpet, Norbert Stachel on flute and Shareef Clayton on trumpet muted by plunger. The song ends with Wade in a call and response with horns, delivering a scat worthy of Ella Fitzgerald.

One of the major highlights of the set is “Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite for Duke Ellington,” a nearly 14-minute montage of classic pieces performed or recorded by Ellington and his band. Among them are “Satin Doll” and “Body and Soul.” The pieces are intermingled, and the band constantly shifts gears from placid to turbulent, rendering these songs in ways that haven’t been done before.

Multiverse is 76 minutes of enjoyment. The 10 songs are mostly covers, with trombonist Chris Washburne contributing the only original song, “Wordsworth Ho!”