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Platinum & Gold Collection: Tito Puente

Tito Puente

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Album Review

The BMG Heritage budget series Platinum & Gold Collection works best when it covers those artists who have a short discography of prize-winners, since 12 songs may be all that most listeners need to hear of the Real McCoy or the Verve Pipe. Tito Puente, of course, enjoyed a career that lasted over half a century, most of which never appeared on BMG-associated labels. Still, Platinum & Gold Collection works surprisingly well, because it includes the most energizing music of Puente's entire discography — his late-'40s and early-'50s sides for RCA — and, for the purposes of the curious, it will be all they'll need. Highlights include "Ran Kan Kan," "Hong Kong Mambo," and "Cao Cao Mani Picao."

Biography

Born: 20 April 1923 in New York, NY

Genre: Latino

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

By virtue of his warm, flamboyant stage manner, longevity, constant touring, and appearances in the mass media, Tito Puente is probably the most beloved symbol of Latin jazz. But more than that, Puente managed to keep his music remarkably fresh over the decades; as a timbales virtuoso, he combined mastery over every rhythmic nuance with old-fashioned showmanship — watching his eyes bug out when taking a dynamic solo was one of the great treats for Latin jazz fans. A trained musician, he was...
Full Bio