Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mongo Santamaria - "Mongo Magic" (1983)

"Freedom" (excerpt)

"Time Will Tell" (excerpt)

"Pirana" (excerpt)

In the two years since I made a discography for Afro-Cuban percussionist extraordinare Mongo Santamaria, some readers have come forward with a series of donations of Mongo's albums.

This 1983 Roulette Records album (not to be confused with the Charly Records compilation "Mongo's Magic") has never made it to CD, and reader Remy has stepped forward with a nice vinyl rip for this blogosphere debut. Big thanks to you Remy!

In the timeline of his studio albums, "Mongo Magic" sits between 1980's "Images" and 1984's "Free Spirit". Longtime producer Marty Sheller is the only person remaining with with Mongo from the 1980 album. Earlier in 1983 Santamaria gave a blistering live performance, captured on Montreux Heat with an entirely different lineup, then got a new band together for this album, most of whom stayed on for "Free Spirit" in '84 and 1987's "Soy Yo".

This starts out as a low-key affair - was worried by the first two tracks with the dreaded DX-rhodes, but later "Rachael's Dance" is the best of the mellow ones, and "Time Will Tell" is a great jazz track, before Mongo's congas only really kick in on tracks like "Pirana". He's joined by Bobby Sanabria on timbales and other percussion. Sheller doesn't play on this album, but as usual wrote most of the tracks .

There's a strong brass and winds presence with Tony Hinson on tenor sax and flute; Chris Rogers on trumpet; and flautist/saxophonist Sam Furnace kicks in with two compositions, "Freedom" and "Should the Blues Be Suspended", which have some of the album's best melodies. Excellent piano work from both Hilton Ruiz and Bobby Quaranta.

Enjoy it!


01 'Rude Boy' (6:18)
02 'The Answer Is Love' (5:00)
03 'Freedom' (6:11)
04 'Time Will Tell' (6:27)
05 'Should the Blues Be Suspended' (6:16)
06 'Rachael's Dance' (6:20)
07 'Pirana' (4:38)
08 'Bonita' (4:57)

All tracks written by Marty Sheller except :
08 - Mongo Santamaria
03,05 - Sam Furnace


Mongo Santamaria - conga drums and bongos
Bobby Sanabria - timbales, drums and percussion
Sam Furnace - flute; soprano, alto and baritone sax
Tony Hinson - Tenor Sax and flute
Lew Soloff - trumpet on 3, 8
Chris Rogers - trumpet
Sal Cuevas - bass
Bobby Quaranta - piano
Hilton Ruiz - piano on 2,6,7


Produced by Marty Sheller
All arrangements by Marty Sheller except :
3, 5 arranged by Sam Furnace
Engineer - David Stone
Photography - Hal Wilson
Art Direction - Michael Mendel


... is HERE


Vinyl rip by Remy

Other album links in this post go to Orgy in Rhythm, Blog-O-Blog, AfroCubanLatinJazz and Si Se Rompe Se Compone. Please thank these people if you visit and download their albums, comments keep your favourite blogs alive.