While the title track was inspired by Mongo Santamaria, Armando could have been writing about himself. Throughout the session, he can be heard driving the pulse with that natural timbre so familiar to all listeners. Armando is careful to let the focus remain with the solo voices: tenor saxophone and piano. One Gene Ammons cooker, several Brazilian samba pieces, a few heartfelt ballads and a whole lot of emotion bring the session to fruition. The hottest number on the album is Saunders’ “Soko,” which features creative improvisation in 3/4 time from piano, saxophone and congas. The piece drives with intensity. Armando’s recording debut as a leader smokes from both a Latin jazz viewpoint and a straight-ahead jazz perspective.
Track Listing: Con Mi Guaguanco; The Boxer; Eighty One; Mallet Hands; Take the
Personnel: Ray Armando- conga drums, Brazilian percussion, samba whistles, train whistles; Benn Clatworthy- tenor saxophone; Theo Saunders, Jorge Valentin Gaffenito (George Gaffney)- piano; Eddie Resto- bass; Enzo Todesco- drums; Robertito Melendez- bongos, cowbell; Papo Rodriguez- bongos, cowbell, shekere.
Record Label: Cubop
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