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Monday, January 10, 2005

Coltrane covers Mongo cover Herbie covers..

Cuban born master conga player Mongo Santamaria was a member of Tito Puente's band (and Perez Prado too!) in the 1950s... when he went solo one of the first songs he cut was called Afro Blue!.(more on that above)...This LP cover is from a 1964 Columbia Records effort which included his own new version of a song he had originally covered for his first hit two years All Music Guide tells it "Santamaria's breakthrough into the mass market may have come as a result of a bad night at a Cuban nightclub in the Bronx in 1962. As the story goes, only three people showed up in the audience, so the musicians held a bull session in which the substitute pianist for the gig, Herbie Hancock, demonstrated his new blues tune, "Watermelon Man." Everyone gradually joined in, the number became a part of Mongo's repertoire, and when producer Orrin Keepnews heard it, he rushed the band into a studio and recorded a single that leaped to the number ten slot on the pop charts in 1963."

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