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by Chris M. Slawecki
Mongorama is a nine-piece Latin Jazz all-star band built and guided to honor Mongo Santamaria by the hand of José Rizo, a Latin musical legend in California who's been broadcasting from KJazz 88.1FM (Cal State University, Long Beach) for more than three decades. On their 2010 debut, Rizo enlisted such legends as Poncho Sanchez and Hubert Laws for masterclass versions of Santamaria's epic Guajira at the Blackhawk" and Las Guajiras," plus several originals by Rizo, who writes for, leads and ...read more
by Greg Simmons
Mongorama. The name just sounds like fun--and this is a fun record, despite being crafted by musicians who take the Afro-Cuban music and legacy of Mongo Santamaria very seriously. Organized by jazz DJ Jose Rizzo, the band highlights a mix of Santamaria classics, blended with newer compositions in the same tradition. Any album that associates itself so closely with a great conguero like Santamaria is bound to feature lots of hand drumming, and Mongorama does not disappoint. Joey ...read more