The Conga Kings – Jazz Descargas (2001) MCH SACD ISO + DSF DSD64 + Hi-Res FLAC

The Conga Kings – Jazz Descargas (2001)
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 73:49 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 4,28 GB
or DSD64 2.0 Stereo (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Front/Rear Covers | 2,2 GB
or FLAC Stereo (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 1,6 GB
Features Stereo and Quadrophonic Surround Sound | Label: Chesky Records # SACD 224

The Conga Kings are back with their second Chesky Records release to prove that these master congueros have more rhythmic tales to tell. Featuring Candido Camero, Carlos “Patato” Valdes and Giovanni Hidalgo, Jazz Descargas is a spontaneous celebration of modern rhythm and melody, a joyous colloquium of jazz and Afro-Cuban sounds by the likes of Machito, Dizzy Gillespie and Tito Puente. Historically, musically and conceptually, this rhythmic dream team is creating the genuine article. The Conga Kings are joined on Jazz Descargas by special guests Phil Woods, Mario Rivera, Chocolate and Jimmy Bosch.

On many levels, The Conga Kings’ Jazz Descargas is authentic Afro-Cuban jazz. For starters, Carlos “Patato” Valdes and Candido Camero have been Afro-Cuban music pioneers for decades. Patato is recognized as one of the first to tune his congas to a song’s dominant chord, which contributes harmony to the song’s melody as well as to the rhythm of a song (noteworthy because there is no piano, and therefore plenty of melodic space, on Jazz Descargas ), and has played with Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie. Camero has contributed Latin punctuation to groove sessions by Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, and even Tony Bennett (on the unique The Beat of My Heart, which featured the singer against a backdrop consisting of only percussion with the occasional wind instrument). Partnered with Giovanni Hidalgo, an alumnus of Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, the combined influence of these three congueros on Latin Jazz has been profound. These three really could be The Conga Kings.

Some artists go around calling themselves kings or queens when they haven’t earned the title, but in the case of the Conga Kings – Candido Camero, Carlos “Patato” Valdes, and Giovanni Hidalgo – the word “king” isn’t an exaggeration. These conga players really do have long and impressive resumes in the Afro-Cuban field; anyone who is seriously into salsa and Latin jazz should be familiar with their work. Recorded in 2000, Jazz Descargas isn’t innovative or forward-thinking by 21st century standards – most of their Latin jazz sounds like it could have been recorded in the 1950s or 1960s. But while this CD isn’t experimental, it is definitely solid. Though few surprises occur, the Conga Kings are hard-swinging and infectious on Latin jazz staples like Dizzy Gillespie’s “Manteca,” Chano Pozo’s “Tin Tin Deo,” and Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va” (a gem that many rockers associate with Santana’s hit remake of 1970). In Spanish, the word “descarga” refers to a Latin jam, and Jazz Descargas is an appropriate title for this release because the Conga Kings don’t hesitate to give the horn players room to stretch out and improvise. The noteworthy soloists include, among others, trombonist Jimmy Bosch, trumpeter Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, and veteran alto saxophonist Phil Woods, who has some inspired moments on Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia” and Bud Powell’s “Un Poco Loco.” All of those guests prove to be assets on this consistently pleasing, if derivative, effort.


01. Un Poco Loco
02. Tin Tin Deo
03. Caravan
04. Tumbao De Tamborito
05. A Night In Tunisia
06. Oye Como Va
07. Manteca
08. Conga Descarga
09. The Peanut Vendor
10. Chocolate Descarga

Carlos “Patato” Valdes – percussion
Candido Camero – percussion
Giovanni Hidalgo – percussion
Joe Gonzalez – percussion
Phil Woods – alto saxophone
Enrico Fernandez – alto saxophone
Mario Rivera – baritone saxophone
Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros – trumpet
Mike Ponella – trumpet
Mauricio Smith – flute
Jimmy Bosch – trombone
Nelson González – tres
John Benthal – guitar
Guillermo Edghill – bass
Julio Salgado – vocals
Pedro Martínez – vocals

Directed & Arranged by Ray Santos.
Produced by David Chesky & Ray Santos.
Recorded on March 20-22, 2001 by Barry Wolifson.




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