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TITO PUENTE
DANCEMANIA '99

Album of the month: Tito Puente

After a string of straight (Latin) jazz albums, "The King of Latin Music", Tito Puente returns to the world of Salsa and Mambo - reviving the magnificent atmosphere of his legendary Palladium Era (1950-64). Dancemania '99 is Tito's first Salsa-Mambo-Cha-Cha album in 7 years, being a wonderful live recording featuring new, updated versions of several classics such as Birdland, Mambo En Blues, A Donde Vas, (El) Cayuco and Complicacion.
Compared to the dynamic but short, often less than three minutes long original versions, these new versions are extended, 6-8 minute-long, truly magnicifient readings full of rousing jazz solos by saxophones (Mario Rivera etc.), trumpet (Raymond Vega etc.), trombone (Juan Pablo Torres), piano and flute (Dave Valentine) - not to mention the timbales by the maestro himself. The incredible 20-piece orchestra boasts four saxophone players (2 x alto, tenor, baritone), four trombonists, four trumpetists, two bass players plus several percussionists, Sonny Bravo on piano and Frankie Morales on lead vocals. The overall sound is simply magical, and there's enough variation on the album to excite the most demanding jazz, old Mambo and modern Salsa enthusiasts. A definitive, instant all-time-classic and a must-have item for any of the followers of the Latin music genre.
GENRE: Big Band Mambo Jazz / Salsa
SOUL TOWN RATING: 10/10



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