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Mambo Jazz

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Album Review

This CD reissues five of Joe Holiday's sessions, all of his output for Prestige. Holiday is joined on all but four of the 23 selections by Latin percussion (including for four songs the maracas of Machito) along with a jazz rhythm section that includes either the early organist Jordin Fordin or pianists Billy Taylor or John Acea. An all-star horn section is on one date but in general the focus is on Joe Holiday's cool-toned and swinging tenor. Most of the selections are quite melodic and, although Holiday was probably aiming this music at a dancing audience, jazz listeners should find much of interest on the enjoyable and (at 73 minutes) generous set.


Born: 10 May 1925 in Sicily, Italy

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s

While not as well-known as Stan Getz, this tenor saxophonist has had a similar career, minus the psychological torture. Born Joseph Befumo in Sicily during the mid-'20s, he was a hard bopper whose commercial career took off when he mastered and began recording a world music style, in this case the mambo. A single in this style, enthusiastically entitled "This Is Happiness," was a hit in 1951, a status that not surprisingly led to more recording opportunities, including a series of sessions for Prestige...
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Mambo Jazz, Joe Holiday
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