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Tito Puente

By virtue of his warm, flamboyant stage manner, longevity, continuous touring, and appearances within the media, Tito Puente is just about the most beloved symbol of Latin jazz. But a lot more than that, Puente were able to maintain his music amazingly fresh on the decades; like a timbales virtuoso, he mixed mastery over every rhythmic nuance with old-fashioned showmanship — viewing his eyes insect out when going for a powerful solo was among the great goodies for Latin jazz followers. A tuned musician, he was also an excellent, lyrical vibraphonist, a gifted arranger, and performed piano, congas, bongos, and saxophone. His charm is constantly on the cut across all age groups and ethnic organizations, helped without doubt by Santana’s best-selling cover variations of “Oye Como Va” and “Em virtude de Los Rumberos” in 1970-1971, and cameo looks around the Cosby Show within the 1980s as well as the film The Mambo Kings in 1992. His make of traditional salsa is normally free from dark undercurrents, radiating a joyous, compulsively danceable party atmosphere. Rooted in Spanish Harlem, of Puerto Rican descent, Puente originally designed to turn into a dancer but those ambitions had been scotched by way of a torn ankle joint tendon suffered within an incident. At age group 13, he started employed in Ramon Olivero’s big music group like a drummer, and later on he analyzed composing, orchestration, and piano at Juilliard as well as the the brand new York College of Music. Moreover, he used and assimilated the impact of Machito, who was simply effectively fusing Latin rhythms with intensifying jazz. Developing the nine-piece Piccadilly Males in 1947 and growing it to a complete orchestra 2 yrs later on, Puente documented for Seeco, Tico, and finally RCA Victor, assisting to gas the mambo trend that provided him the unofficial — and eventually lifelong — name “King from the Mambo,” or simply “Un Rey.” Puente also helped popularize the cha-cha through the 1950s, and he was the only real non-Cuban who was simply invited to some government-sponsored “50 Years of Cuban Music” special event in Cuba in 1952. One of the major-league congueros who used the Puente music group within the ’50s had been Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Johnny Pacheco, and Ray Barretto, which led to some explosive percussion shootouts. Not just one to color himself right into a restricted Latin music part, Puente’s range expanded to big-band jazz (Puente Runs Jazz), and in the ’60s, bossa nova music, Broadway strikes, boogaloos, and pop music, although in old age he tended to stick to old Latin jazz designs that became popularly referred to as salsa. In 1982, he began reeling off a string of many Latin jazz albums with octets or big rings for Concord Picante that provided him greater publicity and respect within the jazz globe than he ever endured. An indefatigable visitor towards the documenting studios, Puente documented his 100th record, The Mambo Ruler, in 1991 amid very much ceremony and love (an all-star Latin music concert at Los Angeles’ General Amphitheatre in March 1992 commemorated the milestone), and he held adding more game titles towards the tally through the entire ’90s. He also made an appearance being a visitor on many albums over time, and such jazz superstars as Phil Woods, George Shearing, Wayne Moody, Dave Valentin, and Terry Gibbs performed on Puente’s personal later on albums. Just weeks after taking his 5th Grammy honor, he passed away on June 1, 2000. Almost a year later on, Puente was acknowledged at the initial annual Latin Grammy Honours, winning for Greatest Traditional Exotic Perfomance for Mambo Birdland.

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