Candido, Patato & Totico


Sign in to view read count
Candido Camero

These three discs, featuring two venerable Cuban conga kings, document very different realms of AfroCuban music. The earliest recording, Candido Camero's 1956 date, Candido is one of the first Latino led cubop albums for an American label. Candido, who replaced Chano Pozo in Dizzy Gillespie's Orchestra and went on to play with Stan Kenton and George Shearing, is featured on conga and bongos with a jazz quintet comprised of Al Cohn, Dick Katz, Joe Puma, Whitey Mitchell and Ted Sommer. The repertoire features somewhat standard jazz fare for the period including "Mambo Inn", "Stompin' at the Savoy", "Perdido" and "Poinciana", mixed with popular songs of the day like "Broadway", "Indian Summer" and "Cheek To Cheek", along with a couple of originals with titles that play on the leader's name - Puma's "Candi Bar" and Sommer's "Candido's Camera". The program is swinging and showcases Candido's skill as a soloist as well his ability to spice up a rhythm section, but as a whole the music is more of a mixed marriage - Latin with jazz - than the mulatto offspring of which it is one of the progenitors.

Patato & Totico
Patato & Totico

The eponymous date Patato and Totico is the reissue of a rare 1968 recording documenting the deep roots of AfroCuban music embodied in the street music of the rumba. Sonero Eugenio "Totico" Arrango and conguero Carlos "Patato" Valdes lead an ensemble of percussionists and vocalists through a program of traditional drumming and chanting on secular songs descended from Yoruban Lucumi rituals.

Joined by Cuban legends Arsenio Rodriguez on tres guitar and "Cachao" Lopez on bass, the music takes on a modern improvisational character of such sophistication as to make it relevant to jazz listeners and soloists today, particularly drummers seeking to master complex modern polyrhythms. Latin jazz fans will recognize the call and response dialogue in "Ya Yo E" as the opening of Dizzy Gillespie's "Cubano-be, Cubano-bop", as well as Jorge Ben's "Mas Que Nada". Several other cuts will be familiar through their assimilation into the AfroCuban cannon.

Candido & Graciela

Inolvidable (Unforgettable) is a new recording reuniting Candido with Graciela (Perez), the first lady of AfroCuban jazz, well known for her work with the Machito and Mario Bauza orchestras. The album features an allstar rhythm section including Tito Puente pianist Sonny Bravo; bassist Andy Gonzalez and timbales/bongo master Manny Oquendo, coleaders of the band Libre; and tres guitarist Nelson Gonzalez (producer of the date). Flutist Eddie Perales and violinist Frederico Britos Ruiz fill out the charanga styled band and Yerba Buena singer Xiomara Laugart appears as a special guest vocalist.

The program includes a mix of classic son, mambos, cha-cha-chas and boleros on which Graciela recalls the classic sound of the Palladium Ballroom dance bands. Candido and Andy Gonzalez steal the show with a new arrangement of Candido's "Conga Jam" (referencing "Manteca") that features the conguero's "singing" three conga set in a duet with the bassist that highlights the tonal subtleties inherent in Latin percussion.


Tracks: Mambo Inn, I'll Be Back for More, Stompin' at the Savoy, Candi Bar, Broadway, Perdido, Indian Summer, Candido's Camera, Poinciana, Cheek to Cheek
Personnel: Candido Camero Bongos, Conga, Al Cohn Sax (Tenor), Dick Katz Piano, Whitey Mitchell Bass, Joe Puma Guitar, Teddy Sommer Drums

Patato & Totico

Tracks: Mas Que Nada, Ya Yo E, Ingrato Corazon, Que Linda Va, Nuestro Barrio, A Que la Caer, En el Callejon, Caridad Malda, Rezo Abuca, Dilo Como Yo
Personnel: Eugene "Totico" Arango Vocals, Israel Cachao Lopez Bass, Papaito Stick, Carlos "Patato" Valdes Percussion, Conga


Tracks: Sí Tu Supieras, Cachita, La Vida Es un Sueno, Amor Ciego, Conga Jam, Tu Mi Delirio, Quien Eres Tu, Desvelo, Tu Me Acostumbraste, Contigo en la Distancia, Inolvidable, Pt. 1, Inolvidable, Pt. 2
Personnel: Sonny Bravo Piano, Candido Camero Conga, Andrew Gonzalez Bass, Joseph Julian Gonzalez Vocals, Graciela Vocals, Xiomara Laugart Vocals, Jorge Maldonado Vocals, Manny Oquendo Percussion, Eddie Perales Flute, Frederico Britos Ruiz Violin


More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready" Multiple Reviews Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Pi Recordings 2016 Releases" Multiple Reviews Pi Recordings 2016 Releases
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Albert We Hardly Knew Ye" Multiple Reviews Albert We Hardly Knew Ye
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Jon Irabagon: Inaction is an Action & Behind the Sky" Multiple Reviews Jon Irabagon: Inaction is an Action & Behind the Sky
by Doug Collette
Published: May 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!