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Mongo Santamaria - Mongo Santamaria's Greatest Hits

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Mongo Santamaria's Greatest Hits

Mongo Santamaria

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Some would say the title of this package is deceptive, as it only covers his mid- to late-'60s period with Columbia (and should not be confused with other Mongo Santamaria releases with similar titles covering different eras, such as Fantasy's). Furthermore, some would also say that it's not representative of Santamaria's best work, or that representative of Santamaria at all, since it's largely devoted to some of his most pop-oriented material. That's the purist stance, anyway. Because actually, this disc is for the most part a gas, even if it is not among the more Latin-esque or jazzy of his recordings. His Columbia stint saw the influence of soul become ascendant upon his studio output and indeed, many of the tunes here are soul covers: "Cloud Nine," "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," "Twenty-Five Miles," "Cold Sweat," and "Green Onions." Being commercial, however -- and this was an attempt by Santamaria and Columbia to be commercial, as both Santamaria and producer David Rubinson state in the liner notes -- does not always lead to bad music. Sometimes, indeed, it leads to pretty good music. And the 1964-1969 cuts on this disc are cool, often smokin' boogaloo, that mixture of Latin, jazz, soul, and pop that briefly became in vogue during the '60s. If Mongo and his large bands were disenchanted with this direction, it certainly doesn't show at all in the performances, which have an irresistible verve, whether on tailored-for-Santamaria compositions like "Fatback" or shopworn material like "La Bamba."
© Richie Unterberger /TiVo

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Mongo Santamaria's Greatest Hits

Mongo Santamaria

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1
Watermelon Man Album Version
00:03:14

Mongo Santamaria, Performer - Herbie Hancock, Composer - Herbie Hancock, Lyricist - Robert Mersey, Producer

Originally Released 1965 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

2
Cloud Nine Album Version
00:05:44

Mongo Santamaria, Performer - N.J. Whitfield, Composer - N.J. Whitfield, Lyricist - B. Jackson, Producer - B. Strong, Composer - B. Strong, Lyricist

(P) Originally Released 1968 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

3
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay Album Version
00:03:15

Mongo Santamaria, Performer - S. Cropper, Composer - S. Cropper, Lyricist - B. Jackson, Producer - O. Redding, Composer - O. Redding, Lyricist

Originally Recorded 1968. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
We Got Latin Soul Album Version
00:03:02

Mongo Santamaria, Performer - Billy Jackson, Producer - R. L. Christian, Composer - R. L. Christian, Lyricist

Originally released 1969. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Fat Back Album Version
00:03:15

Mongo Santamaria, Performer - Bobby Capers, Composer - Bobby Capers, Lyricist - B. Jackson, Producer

(P) Originally Released 1965 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

6
Twenty-Five Miles Album Version
00:02:21

Mongo Santamaria, Performer - E. Starr, Composer - E. Starr, Lyricist - Billy Jackson, Producer - H. Fugua, Composer - H. Fugua, Lyricist - J. W. Bristol, Composer - J. W. Bristol, Lyricist

Originally released 1969. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Cold Sweat Album Version
00:07:52

James Brown, Composer - James Brown, Lyricist - Mongo Santamaria, Performer - Alfred Ellis, Composer - Alfred Ellis, Lyricist - B. Jackson, Producer

Originally Recorded 1968. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Green Onions Album Version
00:04:54

L. Steinberg, Composer - L. Steinberg, Lyricist - Al Jackson, Jr., Composer - Al Jackson, Jr., Lyricist - Mongo Santamaria, Performer - B.T. JONES, Composer - B.T. JONES, Lyricist - S. Cropper, Composer - S. Cropper, Lyricist - B. Jackson, Producer

Originally Recorded 1968. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
The Now Generation Album Version
00:03:12

Mongo Santamaria, Performer - B. Jackson, Producer - William Allen, Composer - William Allen, Lyricist

(P) Originally Released 1969 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

10
La Bamba Album Version
00:03:56

Mongo Santamaria, Performer - B. Jackson, Producer - Ritchie Valens, Composer - Ritchie Valens, Lyricist

(P) Originally Released 1965 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

11
El Pussy Cat Album Version
00:02:41

Valerie Capers, Composer - Valerie Capers, Lyricist - Mongo Santamaria, Performer - B. Jackson, Producer

(P) Originally Released 1964 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

12
Mongo's Boogaloo Album Version
00:02:28

Mongo Santamaria, Performer - Rodgers Grant, Composer - Rodgers Grant, Lyricist - David Rubinson, Producer

Originally released 1967. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

13
Chili Beans Album Version
00:05:13

Valerie Capers, Composer - Valerie Capers, Lyricist - Mongo Santamaria, Performer - David Rubinson, Producer

Originally Recorded 1968. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

14
Ah Ha Album Version
00:02:39

Hubert Laws, Flute - Hubert Laws, Tenor Saxophone - Joseph M. Palmaccio, Mastering Engineer - Stephan Moore, Project Coordinator - Carmello Garcia, Drums - Victor Venegas, Drums - Bobby Capers, Flute - Bobby Capers, Alto Saxophone - Bobby Capers, Baritone Saxophone - Valerie Capers, Composer - Valerie Capers, Lyricist - Valerie Capers, Arranger - Marty Sheller, Trumpet - Rodgers Grant, Piano - Robert Mersey, Producer - Patti Matheny, A&R Coordinator - Mongo Santamaria, Bongos - Mongo Santamaria, Performer - Darren Salmieri, A&R Coordinator

(P) Originally Released 1965 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

15
I Wanna Know Album Version
00:02:45

Mongo Santamaria, Performer - Hubert Laws, Composer - Hubert Laws, Lyricist - Hubert Laws, Arranger - David Rubinson, Producer

Originally released 1967. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

16
Afro Blue Live
00:10:24

Hubert Laws, Flute - Hubert Laws, Saxophone - Hubert Laws, Piccolo - Warren Vincent, Producer - Joseph M. Palmaccio, Mastering Engineer - Stephan Moore, Project Coordinator - Victor Venegas, Bass - David Rubinson, Producer - Bobby Porcelli, Flute - Bobby Porcelli, Saxophone - Hungria Garcia, Drums - Rodgers Grant, Piano - Patti Matheny, A&R Coordinator - Mongo Santamaria, Composer - Mongo Santamaria, Lyricist - Mongo Santamaria, Congas - Mongo Santamaria, Bongos - Mongo Santamaria, Performer - Julito Collazo, Percussion - Julito Collazo, Performer - Darren Salmieri, A&R Coordinator - Ray Maldonado, Trumpet

Originally released 1967. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

Some would say the title of this package is deceptive, as it only covers his mid- to late-'60s period with Columbia (and should not be confused with other Mongo Santamaria releases with similar titles covering different eras, such as Fantasy's). Furthermore, some would also say that it's not representative of Santamaria's best work, or that representative of Santamaria at all, since it's largely devoted to some of his most pop-oriented material. That's the purist stance, anyway. Because actually, this disc is for the most part a gas, even if it is not among the more Latin-esque or jazzy of his recordings. His Columbia stint saw the influence of soul become ascendant upon his studio output and indeed, many of the tunes here are soul covers: "Cloud Nine," "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," "Twenty-Five Miles," "Cold Sweat," and "Green Onions." Being commercial, however -- and this was an attempt by Santamaria and Columbia to be commercial, as both Santamaria and producer David Rubinson state in the liner notes -- does not always lead to bad music. Sometimes, indeed, it leads to pretty good music. And the 1964-1969 cuts on this disc are cool, often smokin' boogaloo, that mixture of Latin, jazz, soul, and pop that briefly became in vogue during the '60s. If Mongo and his large bands were disenchanted with this direction, it certainly doesn't show at all in the performances, which have an irresistible verve, whether on tailored-for-Santamaria compositions like "Fatback" or shopworn material like "La Bamba."
© Richie Unterberger /TiVo

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