The Essential Tito Puente

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Now, that’s more like it. Less than a year prior to this double-disc release, Sony International put out a single-CD comp of vintage Tito Puente, dubbed Lo Esencial in Spanish, which means “The Essential” in English. It was less than that, in either language -- missing, for example, “Oye Como Va.” Partly, Puente’s vast catalog is to blame; even two six-disc box sets, released after the mambo king’s death, failed to crystallize the import of his five-decade career. The Essential, at least, is no insult. Two discs of 40 tracks capture his most significant mambo-era material, clocking out around 1961’s Dance Mania, Vol. 2. For the rest of the story, including T.P.’s reign...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Now, that’s more like it. Less than a year prior to this double-disc release, Sony International put out a single-CD comp of vintage Tito Puente, dubbed Lo Esencial in Spanish, which means “The Essential” in English. It was less than that, in either language -- missing, for example, “Oye Como Va.” Partly, Puente’s vast catalog is to blame; even two six-disc box sets, released after the mambo king’s death, failed to crystallize the import of his five-decade career. The Essential, at least, is no insult. Two discs of 40 tracks capture his most significant mambo-era material, clocking out around 1961’s Dance Mania, Vol. 2. For the rest of the story, including T.P.’s reign with the vocalists La Lupe and Celia Cruz, tune in to The Rough Guide to Tito Puente. In fact, the tracks seem to have been remastered from the box set -- the bass is punchy and Puente’s intricate arrangements are excitingly audible. Salsa fans can be shockingly ignorant of the big-band sound that birthed today’s pop-oriented style. The Essential provides a potent introduction to the mambo maestro.
All Music Guide - John Bush
An essential collection for most artists would consist of 12 or perhaps even 20 songs. For the man described as "El Rey", however, a man who recorded over 100 LPs during a career that touched seven decades, the parameters need to be widened significantly. And so comes this two-disc, 40-track collection from RCA/Legacy, focusing on Puente's prime of the mid-'50s but dipping into 1949 material to survey the beginning of his career and also selecting a lone track from the '60s -- "Oye Como Va," his most familiar performance thanks, in part, to Santana's hit cover. Aside from the breathtaking pair of Complete RCA Recordings boxes, The Essential Tito Puente is the best place to acquire a raft of Puente's best and most famous recordings -- "Ran Kan Kan," "Picadillo," "Cao Cao Mani Picao," "Pa' los Rumberos," "Hong Kong Mambo" actually an alternate take, "Dance Mania," and "Ti Mon Bo."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/16/2005
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 828766924329
  • Catalog Number: 69243
  • Sales rank: 35,007

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ran Kan Kan (2:59)
  2. 2 Swinging the Mambo (3:15)
  3. 3 Four Beat Cha Cha, Pt. 1 (2:29)
  4. 4 Cuando Te Vea (4:16)
  5. 5 Tito Guajira (2:39)
  6. 6 Mambo Gozon (2:47)
  7. 7 Night Hawk (2:32)
  8. 8 Witch Doctor's Nightmare (2:38)
  9. 9 Abaniquito (2:49)
  10. 10 Picadillo (2:44)
  11. 11 Mambo Beat (4:11)
  12. 12 Cao Cao Mani Picao (3:01)
  13. 13 Birdland After Dark (4:38)
  14. 14 Obatala Yeza (3:22)
  15. 15 Chanchullo (2:32)
  16. 16 Pa' los Rumberos (3:24)
  17. 17 Hong Kong Mambo (3:49)
  18. 18 What Is This Thing Called Love? (3:24)
  19. 19 Complicacion (3:22)
  20. 20 Tito Timbero (3:01)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Oye Como Va (4:31)
  2. 2 Cuál Es la Idea (3:21)
  3. 3 El Cayuco (2:37)
  4. 4 Son de la Loma (2:07)
  5. 5 3-D Mambo (2:25)
  6. 6 Cuban Nightmare (3:04)
  7. 7 Oye Mi Guaguancó (Listen to the Guaguancó) (3:35)
  8. 8 Take the "A" Train (2:07)
  9. 9 Elegua Chango (5:14)
  10. 10 Si Te Contara (2:52)
  11. 11 Cha-con-Cha (3:04)
  12. 12 Dance Mania (3:14)
  13. 13 Sácala (2:23)
  14. 14 Ti Mon Bo (6:33)
  15. 15 Yambeque (3:46)
  16. 16 Lotus Land (4:54)
  17. 17 Malibu Beat (2:30)
  18. 18 Al Gozar Timbero (3:05)
  19. 19 Havana After Dark (2:52)
  20. 20 Mambo Buda (2:51)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tito Puente Primary Artist, Leader, Marimbas, Timbales, Vocals, Vibes
Ray Barretto Conga, Timbales
Johnny Pacheco Flute
Eddie Bert Trombone
Gene Quill Saxophone
Nick Travis Trumpet
Willie Rodriguez Conga
Marty Holmes Saxophone
Vicentico Valdés Vocals
Bob Ascher Trombone
Victor Aviles Vocals
Willie Bobo Bongos
Eddie Caine Saxophone
Candido Camero Conga
Julio Collazo Conga
Howard Collins Guitar
Santos Colon Vocals, Guira, Guiro
Al DeRisi Trumpet
Vincent Frisaura Trumpet
John Frosk Trumpet
Barry Galbraith Guitar
Alvin Gellers Piano
Bernie Glow Trumpet
Dave Kurtzer Saxophone
Gilbert Lopez Piano
Jose Mangual Bongos
Manny Oquendo Bongos, Conga
John "Dandy" Rodriguez Bongos
Ray Rodriguez Bongos
Sonny Russo Trombone
Sol Schlinger Saxophone
Todd Sommer Drums
Carlos "Patato" Valdes Conga
Irving Butler Saxophone
Edward Grimm Saxophone
Sol Rabinowitz Saxophone
James Cobb Drums
Al Escobar Piano
Vitín Avíles Vocals
Joe Herde Saxophone
Francisco Pozo Bongos
Gerald Sanfino Saxophone
Shepp Pullman Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Tony Reyes Bass
Francis Williams Trumpet
Pedro "Puchi" Boulong Trumpet
Tony Alfano Saxophone
Otto Bolivar Vocals
Wilson Brignoni Trumpet
Allen Lehrfeld Saxophone
Sam Seavors Trumpet
Amado Vizoso Bass
Albert Socarras Flute
Morty Trautman Trombone
A.D. Jimenez Conga
Luis Verona Piano
John "BJ John" Smith Guitar
Catalino Rolón Conga
Tony Buonpastore Saxophone
Larry Moser Trumpet
Nick Curbelo Trumpet
Tony Derisi Trumpet
Andres Merenguito Forda Trumpet
Patrick Larusso Trumpet
Rafael Palan Flute, Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Louis "Chickie" Perez Bongos
Gene Repetti Trumpet
Ramon "Mongo" Santamaria Conga
Sam Scavone Trumpet
Carl "Doc" Severinson Trumpet
Myron D. Shain Trumpet
Vahey Samuel Takvorian Trombone
Gene Zuizs Saxophone
George Lopez Trumpet
Peter Fanelli Flute, Saxophone, Alto Saxophone
Leon Merian Trumpet
Frank Lo Pinto Trumpet
Santo Russo Trombone
Technical Credits
Tito Puente Composer
Miguel Matamoros Composer
Joseph M. Palmaccio Mastering
Billy Strayhorn Composer
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Abe Vélez Packaging Manager
Jim Payne Liner Notes
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