Willie Bobo

Bobo! Do That Thing/Guajira

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Willie Bobo's first record for Tico is arranged around his previous double-sided single, "Bobo! Do That Thing" b/w "Guajira." The former, which leads off the set, is a sub-Ray Charles shing-a-ling number, with frequent calls for Bobo to get to it. "Guajira" is much better, Bobo's first minor-key Latin processional (many were to come), with great ensemble brass and reeds leading the way. "Azulito" is a racing stomp, while "Grab Your Hat" and "Chickadee" are nice piano-led numbers. Some of the other inclusions, though, are outright awful; "Diferente" couldn't have happened before "On Broadway" became a hit, while "Be's That Way" rips off the deep brass notes of Major Lance's "Monkey Time" (and never does much else). When placed underneath songwriting this bad, it's nearly impossible to hear Bobo's playing for what it is: solid and inventive. Unlike most of his Verve dates, Bobo! Do That Thing/Guajira never rises above the bucketfuls of Latin popcorn released later in the '60s (though admittedly, it's played better here than it would in the future).

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