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Brazilian Sunset (Digital Only)

Mongo Santamaria

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Album Review

Mongo Santamaria leads a potent octet over two nights at Birdland in this live CD taped in 1992. The conga master is joined by trumpeter/flugelhornist Eddie Allen (who serves as music director as well), tenor saxophonist/flautist Craig Rivers, and alto saxophonist/baritone saxophonist/flautists Jimmy Cozier, with pianist Ricardo Gonzalez leading the rhythm section. Among Santamaria's seven originals, the peppy "Brazilian Sunset" especially stands out, along with two pieces by Marty Sheller, his former musical director. Cozier penned the upbeat "Costa Del Oro," a sizzling Latin blues that features its composer on tenor sax. There's also a fun Afro-Cuban arrangement of the standard "Summertime" and a hip-swaying treatment of Herbie Hancock's huge hit "Watermelon Man."

Biography

Born: 07 April 1922 in Havana, Cuba

Genre: Jazz

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

A Mongo Santamaria concert is a mesmerizing spectacle for both eyes and ears, and even in his seventies, this seemingly ageless Cuban percussionist/bandleader could energize packed behemoth arenas such as the Hollywood Bowl. A master conguero, Santamaria at his best creates an incantatory spell rooted in Cuban religious rituals, quietly seating himself before his congas and soloing with total command over the rhythmic spaces between the beats while his band pumps out an endless vamp (a potent example...
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Brazilian Sunset (Digital Only), Mongo Santamaria
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