Drum Fever

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Drum Fever ranks alongside the funkiest records in the Candido canon. The songs are brief, diamond-hard, and tighter than a magnet's coil. Credit its success in large part to Chico O'Farrill, whose blaxploitation-inspired arrangements position Candido's ferocious conga playing alongside swirling keyboards, stiletto-sharp horns, and wah-wah guitar licks. The opening "Candido's Funk" is a jaw-dropping jam that's a virtual primer in Latin percussion, while more mid-tempo tunes like "Succulent" and "St. Louis Blues" possess the sinuous soul-jazz grooves associated with Candido's dates for Blue Note. Irresistible.