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Afro Roots

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 25, 1994
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$9.99
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Audio, Cassette, October 17, 1990
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$9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Afro Roots + Mongo's Greatest Hits + Afro Rhythm
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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A compilation of Cuban conguero Ramon "Mongo" Santamaria's first two albums for Fantasy Records, Afro Roots features not only an all-star percussion section, including Willie Bobo, Francisco Aguabella, Carlos Vidal, and Armando Perazza, but also musicians such as flutist Paul Horn, vibist Cal Tjader, and saxophonist Jose "Chombo" Silva. This disc also includes the original version of Santamaria's classic "Afro-Blue" (a simmering, sensual reading featuring Horn). The music, closer to traditional Cuban music than to any notion of Latin jazz, sounds as fresh and engaging as when it was recorded, in 1958. The set includes nods to traditional Afro-Cuban religious ritual music ("Afro-Blue," "Bata," "Imaribayo") and classic rumba ("Chano Pozo," "Meta Rumba," "Yambu," "Columbia") but also conga ("Conga Pa Gozar"), merengue-rumba ("Che-Que-Re-Que-Che-Que"), and an elegant but forceful mambo ("Mazacote," featuring Tjader). --Fernando Gonzalez

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 25, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Prestige
  • ASIN: B000000ZCW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,080 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I've listened to this recording for more than 20 years (vinyl, or course) and use it as a reference when I teach conga and African American drum. This is Mongo straight off the island, still full of his homeland, and absorbing U.S. jazz. The drums sound like rocks! compared to today's fiberglas instruments, but the tuning's impeccable, and the music (and singing) is hot! It's a must for any serious Cubo-phile, or hand drum person.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bill Andrejko on November 18, 1998
Format: Audio CD
For anyone who's ever touched a drum or been touched by the pure rhythmic magic of the Afro-Cuban tradition, this recording is a MUST have. Along with Mongo on these historic recordings are Willie Bobo and Armando Peraza, a trio of masters of this musical language. You won't hear this music played on any smooth-jazz-dreck station. These wonderful recordings have their roots in the Yoruban religous ceremonies. This is as real as it gets.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Walter Edwards on July 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Anyone, and I mean ANYONE (especially if you're born in the late seventies/early eighties like myself) that is a jazz fanatic and has delved into the world of latin/jazz fusion MUST go back to this album. I am a Mongo Santamaria fan, I don't think that it was/is even possible for an album of his to be produced that's sub-par. This particular album contains one of the must have versions of the classic and frequently re-produced song, "Afro-Blue." You have to own this album and listen to see exactly why the likes of Coltrane and others just had to pay tribute to this classic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I just bought the CD reissue of this: I've had the vinyl version since the '70's. It's an indispensible recording of percussion virtuousity, and since it's mostly drums (except for the work by Cal Tjader and Paul Horn) it gives Mongo plenty of room to stretch out. Plus it's like a textbook of Afro-Cuban rhythms: rhumba, guaguanco, congobel, etc.
There may be some "spiritual" overtones to the drumming (like there is in almost any music), but I'd say it's mostly secular music intended to let Mongo and his mates tear it up. If you want more specifically religious Cuban drumming, try Milton Cardona's "Bembe", which is Santeria ceremonial bata drumming.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Juancao on January 30, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is a great CD that showcases some different styles of Afro-Cuban music. This is the African roots of Cuban music and the foundations that Latin Jazz is built on. Mongo Santamaria is a master percussionist and his playing will move you, it will move you physically and stir your soul!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Carranza C on January 9, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Esta grabación realizada en 1959 es realmente magistral en la manera que este gran percusionista cubano expresa el ritmo con fuerza, exactitud, y personalidad. Son 21 temas de puro ritmo y sabor donde intervienen en alguno de ellos leyendas del jazz como Paul Horn en la flauta, Cal Tjader en el vibráfono o Vince Guiraldi en el piano.
Esta selección de temas inspirados en los ritmos originales del África, nos invaden en la mente y la sangre como una experiencia casi religiosa. Una remasterización realizada por Joe Tarantino realmente extraordinaria de dos lp's legendarios: "Mongo" y "Yambu".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By zumbi on September 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
one of 3 cd's of my very first amazon purchase, it deserves a review (and an enthusiastic one, at that).
i have many mongo's albums and on some (our man in havana and from the roots, for example) the great don ramon explore his afro-cuban heritage for about twenty minutes (an lp side) and then moves to his trademark afro-cuban jazz more palatable to internation ears.
but here you have about 80 minutes of pure roots and culture: bembes, rumbas et al at the very best.
no drummer (and serious music lover) should be without this gem in his/her collection.
mongo still reigns supreme!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "cafebrwn25" on March 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Well to be honest this cd wasn't what I thought it was going to be when I purchased it. I was looking for something mello, with cool jazzy sounds, like Mongo's other stuff, to my suprise this cd gave me a trip to AFRICA. It was filled with beautiful dropplets of all kinds of drums, "AFRO BLUE" blew me away, that song is my favorite hands down. I would encourage anyone to buy this cd, who's into congos and a sweet trip to AFRICA.
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