Esquivel's arrangements of cuts like "Mini Skirt" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" take some different paths, allowing Mr. Ho's collective of cool the opportunity to spread out in the aisles. The former uses vocalists as instrumentalists to power out an array of "pow-pows," while the latter integrates Cuban trumpeter Yaure Muniz in high fashion with a blistering solo.
It's easy to discard space pop, lounge music and Exotica, Latin-infused or not, as a sort of cheesy nod to a bye-gone era. But Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica succeeds in making this music seriously fun again. There's sheer joy here, punched through with every whistle and harmony, and that accomplishes more than any parody could.
The Unforgettable Sounds of Esquivel is a terrific album, well worth many a listen for its unique ability to produce smiles and grooves as saucy and glamorous and diverse as the man who inspired it.