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Feelin' Alright

Mongo Santamaria

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Album Review

While it fits in with the glut of Top 40 boogaloo efforts that record companies pressured jazz artists to record in the late '60s and early '70s, Mongo Santamaria's Feelin' Alright does offer a more than decent program of covers ranging from Motown to "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." Santamaria and band spike the even-keeled, groove-heavy parade of horns, Latin percussion, and rolling basslines with tasty trumpet and saxophone solos and manage to recast most of these rock and soul hits as engaging and infectious Latin-a-go-go jams. Like Willie Bobo, Santamaria does a fine job of straddling the fence between soulful interpretation and limp mood music. And though attempts at reforming rock material like Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" fall a bit short, jazz-friendly tracks like "On Broadway" come out sounding worthy of Santamaria's talent. The band's lively rendition of the title track and sophisticated takes on the Sam & Dave hit "Hold On, I'm Coming" and Jimmy Webb's perennial "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" further maintain the high standard. Although a fun record to listen to, Feelin' Alright should be passed over by newcomers for more viable first-disc choices like Fantasy's Mongo's Greatest Hits and Rhino's Skin to Skin anthology.

Biography

Born: April 7, 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...
Full Bio
Feelin' Alright, Mongo Santamaria
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Latino, Latin Jazz
  • Released: 1970

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