Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Latin Music
A compilation of Cuban conguero Ramon "Mongo" Santamaria's first two albums for Fantasy Records, Afro Roots features not only an all-star percussion section, including Willie Bobo, Francisco Aguabella, Carlos Vidal, and Ar... more »
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A compilation of Cuban conguero Ramon "Mongo" Santamaria's first two albums for Fantasy Records, Afro Roots features not only an all-star percussion section, including Willie Bobo, Francisco Aguabella, Carlos Vidal, and Armando Perazza, but also musicians such as flutist Paul Horn, vibist Cal Tjader, and saxophonist Jose "Chombo" Silva. This disc also includes the original version of Santamaria's classic "Afro-Blue" (a simmering, sensual reading featuring Horn). The music, closer to traditional Cuban music than to any notion of Latin jazz, sounds as fresh and engaging as when it was recorded, in 1958. The set includes nods to traditional Afro-Cuban religious ritual music ("Afro-Blue," "Bata," "Imaribayo") and classic rumba ("Chano Pozo," "Meta Rumba," "Yambu," "Columbia") but also conga ("Conga Pa Gozar"), merengue-rumba ("Che-Que-Re-Que-Che-Que"), and an elegant but forceful mambo ("Mazacote," featuring Tjader). --Fernando Gonzalez
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Afro-Cuban rhythm in its purest form.
Bill Andrejko | San Diego, CA | 11/18/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone who's ever touched a drum or been touched by the pure rhythmic magic of the Afro-Cuban tradition, this recording is a MUST have. Along with Mongo on these historic recordings are Willie Bobo and Armando Peraza, a trio of masters of this musical language. You won't hear this music played on any smooth-jazz-dreck station. These wonderful recordings have their roots in the Yoruban religous ceremonies. This is as real as it gets."
Walter Edwards | 01/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just bought the CD reissue of this: I've had the vinyl version since the '70's. It's an indispensible recording of percussion virtuousity, and since it's mostly drums (except for the work by Cal Tjader and Paul Horn) it gives Mongo plenty of room to stretch out. Plus it's like a textbook of Afro-Cuban rhythms: rhumba, guaguanco, congobel, etc. There may be some "spiritual" overtones to the drumming (like there is in almost any music), but I'd say it's mostly secular music intended to let Mongo and his mates tear it up. If you want more specifically religious Cuban drumming, try Milton Cardona's "Bembe", which is Santeria ceremonial bata drumming."
Mongo (The Master Conguero) music will live for ever!
Oswald Placeres | Netherlands | 09/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was so glad to see this CD available that I had to buy it. To me he was and still is the best conga player of all times. I had the pleasure to meet him in person back in 1980 at the Miami Metro Zoo Jazz concert, and was able to get from him his autograph. I still have it with some pictures that were taken during the concert.
I have the original vinyl (1970) double album. However, apparently who ever made the recording did not include one of the best sons that is in the vinyl double album, and that is: "Mi Guaguanco" an excellent recording of the traditional Afro- Cuban sound that was left out because of budget and time availability; come on give me a break! That is a sorry ass excuse. I would have preferred to eliminate the Mazacote song instead. After all Mazacote is included in other albums too! My opinion is that if you are going to do some thing do it right! Shame on you for not including all of the great works of the best congero that ever lived! That is why I gave it a (4) rating, apart from that the CD is a good investment like all the other recordings from this Master Conguero. It's a must to have for your conga collection. I hope someday they will make a compilation of all his recordings and "Mi Guaguanco" will be included. Buy it you will not regret it. Mongo may you R.I.P