While Tony Hatch's first album (The Tony Hatch Sound) had been a fairly standard "producer oversees easy listening arrangements of his songs" affair, Latin Happening was a different sort of event. Just a few of the songs were Hatch compositions (most notably "Call Me"), and Latinate orchestrations were bestowed upon all of the material, in keeping with the LP title. So you get instrumental easy listening faux-Latin renditions of mid-'60s hits like "Daydream," "Sunny," "Pretty Flamingo," "Working in a Coal Mine," and "Black Is Black," along with some popular music standards ("I Didn't Know What Time It Was," "Somewhere My Love") and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars." Far from a meeting of the best of British and Latin pop, this is a fairly trivial watering down of the bossa nova beat for the English-speaking easy listening audience. There's enough go-go oomph to the beats and horns to make it suitably cheesy background music for a mock-'60s lounge lizard theme party. But it's kind of silly, and not that good -- and not even as lively as Herb Alpert, if you really hanker for something in the general ballpark.
Latin Happening Review
by Richie Unterberger