Mongo Santamaria

Sofrito (888072242555)

Sofrito View larger


Mongo Santamaria



LPS 167455




LP 24,78 €

180gram vinyl LP

Sofrito have been describes as a “soulful, kaleidoscopic Latin jazz session…at a time when most Afro-Caribbean giants were flirting a little too closely with disco and easy listening, the Cuban percussionist’s cosmopolitan vision struck an enviable balance between the stylistic exploration of the era and a sobering commitment to the essence of Latin jazz rootsSofrito grooves like few other records, and stands today as a paradigm of tasty 70s fusion.”

The album arrived well over 20 years into Santamaría’s celebrated career as both a bandleader and as a cherished collaborator with such artists as Tito Puente, the Fania All-Stars, Dizzy Gillespie, and Cal Tjader. He is often best known for his version of Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man,” which climbed to No.10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962. That recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

Sofrito had echoes of releases by Puente, Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, and Gato Barbieri, and showed Santamaría’s generosity in providing space for his band members to shine. They included keyboardist Armen Donelian and bassist William Allen, as well as producer Marty Sheller.

Santamaría continued to record, both in his own name and with other artists, until the late 1990s, before passing away in 2003 at the age of 85. This first vinyl reissue of Sofrito will bring his name to even more admirers of his huge contribution to the history of Latin jazz.


  • SIDE A
  • A1. Iberia
  • A2. Cruzan
  • A3. Spring Song
  • A4. Sofrito
  • SIDE B
  • B1. O Mi Shango
  • B2. Five on the Color Side
  • B3. Secret Admirer
  • B4. Olive Eye
  • B5. Princess