Mongo Santamaria's Greatest Hits [Columbia Bonus Tracks]

Mongo Santamaria's Greatest Hits [Columbia Bonus Tracks]

by Mongo SantamaríaMongo Santamaría


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Some would say the title of this package is deceptive, as it only covers his mid- to late-'60s period with Columbia (and should not be confused with other Mongo Santamaria releases with similar titles covering different eras, such as Fantasy's). Furthermore, some would also say that it's not representative of Santamaria's best work, or that representative of Santamaria at all, since it's largely devoted to some of his most pop-oriented material. That's the purist stance, anyway. Because actually, this disc is for the most part a gas, even if it is not among the more Latin-esque or jazzy of his recordings. His Columbia stint saw the influence of soul become ascendant upon his studio output and indeed, many of the tunes here are soul covers: "Cloud Nine," "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," "Twenty-Five Miles," "Cold Sweat," and "Green Onions." Being commercial, however -- and this was an attempt by Santamaria and Columbia to be commercial, as both Santamaria and producer David Rubinson state in the liner notes -- does not always lead to bad music. Sometimes, indeed, it leads to pretty good music. And the 1964-1969 cuts on this disc are cool, often smokin' boogaloo, that mixture of Latin, jazz, soul, and pop that briefly became in vogue during the '60s. If Mongo and his large bands were disenchanted with this direction, it certainly doesn't show at all in the performances, which have an irresistible verve, whether on tailored-for-Santamaria compositions like "Fatback" or shopworn material like "La Bamba." The 2000 CD reissue's a big improvement on the original 1970 LP, adding five bonus tracks, including a live version of his famous "Afro Blue." The 1965 reading of "Watermelon Man," incidentally, that kicks off this comp is not the original hit rendition, but it's good just the same.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/04/2000
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074646392027
catalogNumber: 63920
Rank: 73995


  1. Watermelon Man
  2. Cloud Nine
  3. Sitting on the Dock of the Bay
  4. We Got Latin Soul
  5. Fat Back
  6. Twenty-Five Miles
  7. Cold Sweat
  8. Green Onions
  9. The Now Generation
  10. La Bamba
  11. El Pussy Cat
  12. Mongo's Boogaloo
  13. Chili Beans
  14. Ah Ha
  15. I Wanna Know
  16. Afro Blue

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mongo Santamaría   Primary Artist,Percussion,Bongos,Conga
Wayne Henderson   Trombone
Sandra Crouch   Tambourine
Hadley Caliman   Tenor Saxophone
Sonny Fortune   Flute,Reeds,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soloist
Hubert Laws   Flute,Reeds,Piccolo,Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Luis Gasca   Trumpet,Soloist
Marty Sheller   Trumpet,Conductor
William Allen   Bass
Steve Berrios   Timbales,Latin Percussion
Julio Collazo   Percussion,Chant,Latin Percussion
Joe Farrell   Tenor Saxophone
Carmelo Garcia   Drums
Hungria Garcia   Drums,Timbales
Rodgers Grant   Piano
Arthur Kaplan   Baritone Saxophone
Raymond Maldonado   Trumpet,Latin Percussion
Bobby Porcelli   Flute,Saxophone
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie   Drums
Mauricio Smith   Flute,Saxophone
Victor Venegas   Bass
Charlie Owens   Tenor Saxophone
Osvaldo Martinez   Latin Percussion
Fred Hill   Trumpet
Cuco Martinez   Percussion
Bobby Capers   Flute,Reeds,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone

Technical Credits

James Brown   Composer
Valerie Capers   Arranger
Herbie Hancock   Arranger
Hubert Laws   Arranger
Pee Wee Ellis   Composer
Marty Sheller   Arranger
William Allen   Arranger
Rodgers Grant   Arranger
Billy Jackson   Producer
Robert Mersey   Producer
David Rubinson   Producer
Mongo Santamaría   Contributor
Jerry Wexler   Composer
Arlester "Dyke" Christian   Composer
Warren Vincent   Producer
Fred Binkley   Liner Notes
Howard Fritzon   Art Direction
Rachel Dicono   Packaging Manager
Bobby Capers   Arranger,Composer

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