18 June 2006
TITO PUENTE - PARA LOS RUMBEROS
Tito firing on all cylinders on this incendiary piece of vinyl from 1973.Joe Caine's at the controls and he's got Charlie Palmieri with him on keyboards and most of the crew from the later Concert Orchestra lp.
Story goes is that Tito was envious about Santana's massive success with some of his material and took the band into the studio to cash in on this.He had first recorded Para los Rumberos in the 50s on the great Cuban Carnival album which Carlos Santana had heard and loved and then covered on his first lp.So Tito ups the tempo, stokes his band up to boiling point and lets it rip for this version.Tension and release is what its all about with the horns and bass acting almost as brakes in places to build it up until the piano montuno kicks in then the whole ensemble is off again careering along like a runaway train - but with Tito at the footplate you know this train will never crash!
The whole album is superb and Palladium Days-Titos tribute to the dancers at the famous mecca for the latin greats in the 50s and 60s - runs the title tune a close second for sheer intensity and fire.Tito even throws in a Santana cover -Batuka - which for my money is better than the original!
Puente once told a group of Shoreline Community students how Oye Como Va became a sort of a trademark for Santana and himself. He recalled in the early 70s (when the Santana cover was released) how a plethora of people would come up to him pleading for that Santana tune. Tito would respond, “We don’t play Santana. We play Puente music!”That is, until the first royalty check came in the mail.
“Damn! I is a composer now,” Tito joked. “Since that day, all we play is Santana music!”
Ripped from the original vinyl-but you can go out and buy it now as its just been re-issued as part of a massive relaunch of the Fania back catalogue.