A third volume in the series of thrilling Descargas at the Village Gate sessions offers 35 additional minutes of all-star jamming, with a roll call of New York's most important Latino musicians: Puente, Pacheco, Barretto, both Eddie and Charlie Palmieri, Joe Cuba, Jimmy Sabater, and Barry Rogers, plus a full dozen others. The first "song," the 18-minute "Descargas de Contrabajos," offers solos from Johnny Pacheco, bassists Israel Lopez and Bobby Rodriguez, conga man Barretto, and, eventually, nearly everyone else, while a vocal chorus (composed of Santos Colon, Rafael DaVila, and José Feliciano) eggs them on at every opportunity. Side two marries modern and traditional, first with a Ricardo Ray boogaloo and then with a Tito Puente descarga, bringing the proceedings back to the roots of the fertile New York Latin/jazz scene of the '40s and '50s. The sense of energy and communal joy is palpable throughout this recording and, though listening to it certainly isn't as much fun as being there, Descargas at the Village Gate, Vol. 3 is a showpiece of Latin music.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush