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Tito Puente: The Complete RCA Recordings, Vol. 1

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Album Review

Latin jazz bandleader Tito Puente's early years on RCA are featured on The Complete RCA Recordings with 108 tracks recorded between 1949 and 1960, sequenced in chronological order over six discs. Several unavailable and alternate takes are included along with an informative, albeit short, 12-page booklet. With over 100 Puente recordings available, in a career spanning several decades, a package like this is a treat for the rabid completist or comes in handy for the novice listener trying to sort out various periods from the king of the mambo.


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 also...
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Tito Puente: The Complete RCA Recordings, Vol. 1, Tito Puente
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