Francisco Aguabella

Agua de Cuba

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This CD starts out with "Dajomy Blue," which has such dense, complex, and exciting percussion work that it would not be surprising if the rest of the disc were anticlimactic. But with strong solos from trumpeter Ramon Flores, trombonist Isaac Smith, and Charles Owens (who is sometimes over the top) on tenor and flute, this set never loses its momentum. Aguabella, whose conga playing is joined in the rhythm section by Humberto Hernandez on timbales and Josey de Leon on bongos, plus an unidentified pianist and bassist, is in peak form throughout. Highlights of this highly recommended Afro-Cuban jazz set include "Watermelon Man," "Manteca," "Milestones," and Aguabella's "Salsa Latina."

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