Also available with MONGO EXPLODES on BGP (062) distributed by Rounder.
Includes original WATERMELON MAN with two tracks from a single released in 1962 and 6 bonus tracks recorded live at the Blackhawk, San Francisco, California in 1962.
Personnel: Mongo Santamaria (bongos, congas); Rudy Calzado (vocals); Jose "Chombo" Silva (tenor saxophone); Pat Patrick, Bobby Capers (saxophone, flute); Marty Sheller (trumpet); Mauricio Smith (flute); Roland Lozano (wooden flute); Felix "Pupi" Legaretta (violin); Rodgers Grant, Rene "El Latigo" Hernandez (piano); Victor Venegas (bass); Ray Lucas, Frank Hernandez, Kalil Madi (drums); Willie Bobo (timbales); Cuco Martinez, Joseph Gorgas (percussion).
Producers: Orrin Keepnews, Larry Maxwell.
Compilation Producer: Eric Miller.
Principally recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, Los Angeles, California on December 17, 1962, February 18 & 20, 1963. Includes original liner notes by Kathy Mackay.
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (Fantasy).
First released in 1963, this album capitalized on the success of the percussionist Mongo Santamaria's version of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man." It includes a variety of similar Latin pop instrumentals, such as "Cut That Cane" and "Yeh-Yeh," as well as some early examples of Latin R&B, like "The Boogie Cha-Cha Blues" and "Love, Oh Love." This is vintage Latin instrumental music at its finest, with Santamaria and timbale star Willie Bobo's inventive percussion, as well as a stellar horn section, keeping things simmering, and the bonus of a half-dozen live tracks that display the orchestra at its best.
Mojo (Publisher) (6/02, p.3) - Included in Mojo's "20 ultra-hip soundtracks" - "...An unusual combination - a Latin percussionist and a hard-bop jazz tune - combine for a US Top 10 hit..."