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Watermelon Man


Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • 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.
Professional Reviews
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..."
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