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In the 1980s, percussionist-trumpeter Jerry Gonzalez put together one of the most scintillating of all Latin jazz ensembles, the Fort Apache Band. Rumba Para Monk showcases an abbreviated version of that unit -- Gonzalez, percussionist Steve Berrios, pianist Larry Willis, bassist (and brother) Andy Gonzalez, and saxophonist Carter Jefferson -- in a match made in heaven: the compositions of Thelonious Monk juiced up with Afro-Cuban rhythms. Monk's tunes are all about rhythm -- if you don't pay attention to this jazz innovator's unique rhythmic dragline, his tunes will pull you under -- and the exuberant rumba, guiro, ofere, son montuno, and clave rhythms impart fresh nuances to the familiar repertoire. After this album, Monk would become a fashionable choice for Latin jazz bands -- Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez even titled a fine album Panamonk -- but few have ever nailed the music with such pure Monkian spirit as Gonzalez and company.