Percussionist Ray Mantilla's Space Station (a group that includes Dick Oatts on saxophones and flute, pianist Eddie Martinez, bassist Peter Barshay, Joe Chambers on drums and vibes, and Steve Berrios on drums and percussion) made their recording debut with Hands of Fire. There are many little surprises along the way during this Afro-Cuban set including the nearly free-form beginning to the opening "Ode to Vivian" (before it settles into a Latin groove), the way that Chambers' vibes sometimes gives the group a sound similar to Cal Tjader's, the concise percussion displays, and some excellent Latin-flavored bop. With the exception of the traditional "En Nos Otros," all of the music is comprised of group originals, mixing together older styles with newer ideas.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow