Mongo Santamaria – Live At Jazz Alley (1990) [Reissue 2003]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 64:49 minutes | Scans included | 3,93 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/48 kHz | Full Scans included | 793 MB
Features Stereo and Multichannel Surround Sound | Label: Concord Picante # SACD-1016-6
In the late 80s and early 90s, Jazz Alley was an annual stop for Mongo Santamaria and his band. Their appearance was an event that never disappointed. Someone at Concord Jazz, Mongo’s label at the time, had the really bright idea of recording them live at that venue in March 1990. The band itself is an all-star lineup, including such luminaries as Ray Vega, Bobby Porcelli, Bob Quaranta, Johnny Almendra, Mitch Frohman, Eddie Rodriguez and Bernie Minoso.
This is as close to Latin purist Mongo as we have heard in recent years, an eight-piece salsa band – including several members of the 1997 Tito Puente ensemble, like trumpeter Ray Vega, altoist Bobby Porcelli and tenorman Mitch Frohman – playing a brace of Mongo classics and Latin jazz pieces live before a hushed crowd in Seattle’s Jazz Alley. There are no pop covers, one electric instrument (a bass), lots of extended jazz solos (Porcelli and Frohman really burn on the pioneering Afro-Cuban classic “Manteca”), and an unusual (for Mongo) emphasis on the timbales on many tracks, which shoves the rhythms closer to the salsified Puente manner. However, tracks like “Juan Jose,” “Home” and “Bonita” do have the smooth Mongo cha-cha and guajira grooves, and elsewhere, Mongo lifts himself out of the background often enough to deliver some stirring polyrhythmic conga salvos. For a specific jolt from Mongo’s own past, there is “Para Ti” and 10 1/2 stimulating minutes of “Afro Blue.” Though the general electricity level of the gig could be higher, Mongo’s ageless spirit triumphs again.
04. Para Ti
07. Come Candela
09. Juan José
10. Afro Blue
Mongo Santamaria – congas
Ray Vega – trumpet, flugelhorn
Bobby Porcelli – alto & baritone saxophone, flute
Mitch Frohman – tenor & soprano saxophone, flute
Bob Quaranta – piano
Bernie Misolo – bass
John Andreu Almendra – drums, timbales
Eddie Rodriguez – percussion & vocals on “10”
Produced by John Burk & Nick Phillips.
Recorded Live in March 1990 at Dimitrou’s Jaz Alley, Seattle, WA.
Mixed at PER, Hayward, CA. Recording & Mixing Engineer: Phil Edwards.
SACD 5.1 Mix by Phil Edwards Media Hyperium Studios, Torrance, CA.