Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Mongo Santamaria "Our Man In Havana"

Mongo Santamaria
( Fantasy Records, 1993 )
Catalog # F 24729

Personnel on selections #1 - 10 :
Mongo Santamaria - Congas, Drums
El Fine, Armandito - Trumpets
Julio - FlutePaquito - Piano
Niño Rivera - Tres
Pepito, Bol - Bass
Willie Bobo - Bongos, Timbales
Yeyito - Bongos, Triangle
Gustavito - Guiro
Cheo Junco, Armando Raymact - Vocals

Personnel on selections #11 - 20 :
Mongo Santamaria - Congas, Drums
Luis Santamaria - Vocals (on #11, #15)
Merceditas Valdés - Vocals (#12-14, 17)
Macucho - Vocal on #19)
Mario Arenas, Carlos Embale - Vocal on #18
Finco, Carlos Embale - Vocals (on #16 and #20)
Willie Bobo - Bongos, Timbales

Other musicians on #11 - 15 include :
Marina, Alfredo, Adriano, PapoMario, Joseito, Jesus, Babino, Romiro, Romay playing Bata Drums,Bell (Agogo), and Large Net-Covered Rattles (Shekere)

Other musicians on #16 - 20 include :
Fuico, Joseito, Alfredo, Julio, andOliverio playing Two Tumba Drums (Quinto and Llamador) and Sticks (Palos)

Recorded in early 1960

Tracklisting :
01 Jamaicuba
02 Manila
03 He Guapacha
04 Cha Cha Rock
05 Vengan Pollos
06 Barandanga
07 Linda Guajira
08 Vamos A Gozar
09 Miss Patti Cha Cha
10 Viva La Felicidad

* Mongo Santamaria - Our Man In Havana (Fantasy LP 3302,
LP 8045,F 24729, FCD 24729-2)

11 Tele Mina For Chango (God Of Thunder)
12 Olla De For Olla (Wife Of Chango)
13 Yemaya Olodo For Olla (Mother Of Chango)
14 Yeye-O For Ochun (Counterpart Of Venus)
15 Wolenche For Chango (God Of Thunder)
16 Agua Limpia (Guaguanco)
17 Ochun Mene (Columbia)
18 Mexico (Guaguanco)
19 Manana Son Manana (Columbia)
20 Complicaciones (Guaguanco)

* Mongo Santamaria - Bembé (Fantasy LP 3311, LP 8055)
= Mongo Santamaria - Our Man In Havana (Fantasy F 24729, FCD 24729-2)

Review :
The two records that make up Our Man in Havana (the other date was originally called Bembe) were recorded in 1960 during a visit to Cuba by Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo. The first set is superb, featuring an unusual mixture of instruments for a Cuban band: two trumpets, flute, piano, tres (Nino Rivera), bass, timbales, bongos, guiro, conga, and two vocalists. The playing by the local musicians is of high quality, and the ten selections are quite enjoyable. Unfortunately though, that project is combined with the cuts from Bembe, which are in a very different style. The latter project has the music performed entirely by vocalists, other than the percussion of Santamaria and Bobo. Consisting of folk melodies and religious songs, with the emphasis totally on the chanting and singing, the music is intriguing from a historical standpoint but the jazz content is nil on this emotional date (which has Merceditas Valdes taking the vocal on four numbers). So, overall, this reissue is definitely a mixed bag.
By Scott Yanow [AMG]

By Rob

1 comment:

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