Latin Dance Party [Golden Tone]

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Some surprises distinguish Latin Dance Party on the budget label Golden Tone. At only eight tracks, the 12" probably reissues an earlier 10" LP. Rodriguez is the only name given, and it is likely he predates any of the more famous namesakes (Arsenio, Tito, Willie, Pete, etc.). The inclusion of "Brazil" and "Tico Tico," the two warhorses of Brazil performed vocally here, indicate a facility with South American music and Portuguese. The breakneck flute intro to "Tico Tico" is outdone only by a gattling-gun vocal delivery and odd percussion. Guitar starts off the exotic "Baia" (also as "Bahia") which features Brazilian percussion and an excellent male vocal; arranged as a rumba, it recalls the rumbas Carmen Miranda was made to pass off as baions or sambas. "Goza Cha Cha" is performed by a charanga configuration, with flute, strings, chorus, and lazy tempo. "Mambo #5" is executed with characteristic grunts and trumpet squeals, while the vocal "Las Suegras" fills the progressive New York Latin bill. "Asi Asi" is a vibes number in the early Tico style, and "Adios" has the guitar-led sound of La Playa Sextet on Mardi-Gras or Randy Carlos on Fiesta. The original session may be a mystery, but this early Latin dance orchestra seems to possess all the range and progressive sensibility of the greats.

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