Tito Puente: Quatro – The Definitive Collection

Tito Puente and his Orchestra with Buddy Morrow and his Orchestra / Revolving Bandstand / RCA Victor, 1960

Despite what the producer, Joe Conzo’s notes and the conventional wisdom of that time say about Dance Mania it is this recording, Revolving Bandstand that is simply the most ambitious and finest record of the set of four albums that were released from 1956 onwards. The album is infused with the influence of the great Gil Evans and his seminal recording with the Miles Davis nonet, The Birth of Cool. And for the true test of the inspired idea of putting together the orchestras of Tito Puente and Buddy Morrow there is no greater expression than “I Concentrate On You,” “Autumn Leaves,” or for that matter “Harlem Nocturne,” or literally any one of the charts on the album. For example, anyone who has experiences an autumn in north America will testify to the sound of the wind as it wraps about the scraps and leaves in every shade of brown and red and gold. This is the elemental sound that blows through the harmonics of the two orchestras playing that chart. Furthermore, the mighty growl that accompanies the awakening of Harlem as it rises to battle through a new day is captured with thunderous and gorgeous music throughout the short piece.

Tito Puente and His Orchestra: Revolving Bandstand
Tito Puente and His Orchestra: Revolving Bandstand

And then there is this: the percussive parts in songs such as “Kiss of Fire” that bring the chart to a close are simply stupendous. The roar of the congas and the rattle of the bongos together with the loquacious hum of the bass is earth shattering, in a manner of speaking. Moreover, the addition of the conventional trap set mixed in with the Latin rhythm instruments adds a certain swagger to the music. This is eminently attractive in the eternal chart, “Blue Moon” as the song waxes and wanes between the elasticity of the jazz idiom and the swaggering rambunctiousness of the Latin metaphor.

Track List – Bahia [Na Baixa Do Sapateiro]; I Concentrate On You; Autumn Leaves; Harlem Nocturne; Kiss Of Fire; The Continental; Blue Moon; Temptation; So in Love; Baby Won’t You Please Come Home.

Personnel – Tito Puente and his Orchestra: Tito Puente: leader, timbales & vibraphone; Joe Wilder: trumpet; Ernie Royal: trumpet; Pat Russo: trumpet; Pedro “Puchi” Buolong: trumpet; Jimmy Frisaura: trumpet; Rafael: saxophones and flutes; Pete Fanelli: saxophones and flutes; Tom Alfano: saxophones and flutes; William Slapin: saxophones and flutes; Schepp Pullman: saxophones and flutes; Gilberto Lopez: piano; Bobby Rodriguez: bass; Willie Rodriguez: drums; Carlos “Patato” Valdes: congas; Julito Collazo: congas; Ray Barretto: congas; Jose Mangual Sr.: bongos; Santitos Colon: guiro; Jerome Kail: trumpet (7, 8); Buddy Morrow and his Orchestra: Buddy Morrow: leader and trombone; Bernie Glow: trumpet; Jimmy Maxwell: trumpet; Lawrence Brooks: trumpet; Lyle Dedrick: trumpet; Will Bradley: trombone; Frank Rehack: trombone; Chauncey Welsh: trombone; Richard Hisson: trombone; Phil Bodner: saxophones and flutes; Sol Schlinger: saxophones and flutes; Richard Henry: saxophones and flutes; Sam Donohue: saxophones and flutes; Vincent Carbone: saxophones and flutes; Joe Marshall Jr. drums; Al Casamenti: guitar; Steve Lipkins: trumpet (7, 8); Romeo Penque: reeds (7, 8).

Raul Da Gama
Raul Da Gama
Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

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