Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Conga Kings - Jazz Descargas (2001)


This trio of Latin percussionists released a self-titled CD in 2000, which is OK, but not what I'd consider a "go-to" CD for Afro-Cuban music.  For me, this 2001 release is a much better CD because, as the title suggests, it fully embraces the connection between Afro-Cuban music and jazz.  There's guest artists aplenty: Phil Woods, Chocolate, Jimmy Bosch, Mario Rivera, and Nelson Gonzalez.  Woods, in particular, really brings it. The Conga Kings set an infectious groove, then get out of the way and let the guests do their thing while the band persistently churns underneath. There's nothing groundbreaking here and it's all terribly derivative, but it's a fun listen.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks:  Several keepers here, including the band's versions of Bud Powell's Un Poco Loco, Duke Ellington's Caravan, Dizzy Gillespie's A Night In Tunisia and Manteca, Tito Puente's Oye Como Va, and the classic Cuban son-preg√≥n The Peanut Vendor. If you want to focus on the conga playing, there's also an 8 minute conga jam appropriately titled Conga Descarga.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  My preferred method of listening to Afro-Cuban music is on the back porch on a hot, breezy summer evening, accompanied by quality conversation, cold beer, and a good cigar.  That's usually how this CD has been enjoyed.  In fact, not long after this was released, it was enjoyed in "Jaime's Cantina" (my friend Jim's back porch on the Texas Gulf Coast).

Previously revisited for the blog:
The Conga Kings (2000)

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