In reissues, this "inspired 16-minute tone poem" has been paired with its monaural predecessor, "Voodoo Suite." The format is the same, but the success is greater. In Exotic Suite, Prado demonstrates a talent for composing and conducting strings that recalls Les Baxter's seminal "Le Sacre du Sauvage." The strings very strongly handle the melody and mellower passages, representing North America, one presumes. (In "Voodoo Suite" there are less affecting drum and horn solos.) The changes between movements mostly are seamless. The drums, representing Central and South America, have much of the bombast of Tito Puente's powerful "Dance of the Headhunters." The inclusion of "Blues in C Major" is the only objection, but it serves to reinforce the one-America theme. The "filler" on side two is far better than on Voodoo Suite. The sensational "Son of a Gun" is a Cuban "son"; on this and the next album Prado meshes this rhythm with the twist.
Exotic Suite of the Americas Review
by Tony Wilds