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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


The very best of
"King of Kings"
BMG Heritage 74465 99001 2




  1. Dance Mania
  2. Oye Me Guaguanco
  3. El Cayuco
  4. Caonao
  5. Ti Mon Bo
  6. Dance of the Headhunters
  7. Hong Kong Mambo
  8. Cuanto Te Vea
  9. Baile Como Es
  10. Saca Tu Mujer
  11. Guancona
  12. Mambo Gozon
  13. Mi Chiquita Quiere Bembe
  14. Elequana
  15. A Gozar Timbero
  16. Cual es La Idea
  17. 3D Mambo
  18. Son De La Loma
  19. Llego Mijan
  20. Yambeque
  21. Night Ritual

Tito Puento was by and large the man responsible for bringing Latin rhythms into jazz as a normal. The early ‘boppers’ used some elements of Latin music, but Tito introduced the world to all of it. In a similar way Edmundo Ros brought Latin American music to the UK. Strangely neither of them ran jazz orchestras as such, both were more concerned with dance music and dancers. Toto Puento had the respect of the entire jazz population, because although there was little improvised content to his music, it had a great jazz feel. Most UK musicians liked the Edmundo Ros band for similar reasons.

In more recent years the music was called Salsa and became popular under that name but Tito always played the same music, it was just the name that changed. Tito passed on in 2000 and the world lost one of its greatest showmen and a master timbelero. In albums which were recorded later in his career there was a higher jazz content, often using the many excellent Cuban musicians who took up residence in the USA.

This album is essential listening for anyone wanting to listen to a comprehensive selection of Latin American dance rhythms immaculately played and producing great excitement.
Don Mather



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