Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Mongo Santamaria - Greatest Hits [Columbia]
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Latin Music
Ever since Ramón "Mongo" Santamaría arrived in the United States from Cuba in the late 1940s and hooked up with bebop legend Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, and Pérez Prado, he's been the most imitated conga drum... more »
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Ever since Ramón "Mongo" Santamaría arrived in the United States from Cuba in the late 1940s and hooked up with bebop legend Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, and Pérez Prado, he's been the most imitated conga drummer in Latin jazz and salsa music. Further, his pioneering flute-violin charanga bands have almost singly expanded the parameters of Latin sounds in America.These 1960s Columbia Records sides contain his coveted hip-shaking pop covers with flutist Hubert Laws, master santero Julito Collazo, drummer Bernard Purdie, and trumpeter Marty Sheller, with Santamaría and company conjuring up fun and campy red-beans-and-rice versions of Top 40 soul classics. Santamaría lays the boogaloo down on James Brown's "Cold Sweat," the Temptations' "Cloud Nine," Ritchie Valens's "La Bamba" and Booker T. and the MG's' hit, "Green Onions." But make no mistake, Mongo Santamaría was no novelty act. His rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" and his own composition, the 6/8 syncopated standard, "Afro Blue"--recorded by legions of musicians, including John Coltrane, and captured live on this compilation--best showcases his thunderous and articulate polyrhythmic genius linking Africa and the Americas. --Eugene Holley Jr.
A Man Called Mongo.
The Groove | Boston, MA | 05/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During his long and extensive career, Mongo Santamaria fused sensual Cuban rhythms with r&b and jazz, making him one of the most revered musicians of our time. This hits collection compiles sixteen of the percussionist's most essential recordings, and they all have "class" written all over them. Covering material from the mid to late 1960s, the music here conjures up images of a hot July beach party, tequilas and all. He admirably covers the Otis Redding classic "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay"--years before Michael Bolton had the chance to butcher it. There's also the groovy sax-flavored "Twenty Five Miles," the breezy "Fat Back," and "Cold Sweat." But this disc saves the best for last with the closing track, a 10 minute live recording of "Afro Blue." If you want to bear witness to the depth of Mongo's talent, then hear this jam, which is a memorable mix of Cuban percussion and traditional jazz. Thanks to the perfect harmony in which the band performs, "Afro Blue" is a brilliant piece of work that gets under your skin and stubbornly stays there. To be honest, I was introduced to Santamaria through my Dad, who was a huge fan of not only jazz, but particularly Latin-flavored jazz. When I learned of Mongo's passing, I revisited his work and decided to pick up this disc, which instantly gave me childhood memories. But even more important than that, this hits collection is a great survey that loudly answers the question, "What was so great about Mongo Santamaria?" The answer lies in this CD."
Smokin' R&B with extra salsa
A. Lapat | Boston, MA USA | 11/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Contrary to other reviews of this album, I find Mongo in his element when applying his Latin rhythms to classic R&B. On most of these tracks it works, on some it REALLY works. If you're a fan of up-tempo, beat driven classic R&B you will love this collection."
WE GOT LATIN SOUL !
J. Hoffman | dover, pa. United States | 06/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mongo Santamaria was one of the best latin jazz artists of his time. Rest in salsa heaven !!"