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Legend of Cuban Percussion

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

An album that's justifiably titled. Carlos "Patato" Valdes is indeed a legend of Cuban percussion, having played with Herbie Mann and Tito Puente among others, before leading his own ensembles. This record compiles tracks from his two "i"Ritmo y Candela recordings of the mid-'90s, and an absolute joy it is. Patato's congas percolate at the front of the mix, heading a band comprised of some superb, and often adventurous (check out the piano on "Son de Patato"), Cuban jazz players. But things become especially interesting when African players join the mix on "Kora Son" and "Senor Blues/Mbuka Enoka" as the Horace Silver classic mutates into West African melody. Throughout it's Patato who's in command, his playing an inspiration to the younger generation accompanying him. He might be in his 70s here, but like the Buena Vista Social Club musicians, he's still very much at the top of his game and making a very joyful noise indeed. Age is nothing but a number. --Chris Nickson

Review

Celebrating the remarkable career and talents of 75-year-old Cuban imigri Carlos "Patato" Valdis, this compilation was culled from the conguero's two previously released Ritmo y Candela albums. Standout tracks include the piquant "Descarga en Faux," co-composed by Patato and pianist Rebeca Maulesn-Santana, which also features timbales legend Orestes Vilats. "Desde el Fondo del Rio" evinces Patato's ability to create rhythmic counterpoint from the different timbres of his congas. Augmented by Maulesn-Santana's exciting piano montunos and composer John Calloway's sensuous flute, this track alone is worth the price of the album. -- From Rhythm Magazine

Legend of Cuban Percussion

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