Mongo Santamaria

Olé Ola

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For an album of mostly average Latin jazz, Olé Ola makes it mark with the title track, which features a genuinely soulful vocal by Jill Armsbury. Unfortunately, the song is far too short, winding up clumsily just after a percussion solo; also, the lyrics amount to little more than a repeated chorus. But drawn out at least another minute, it could have become a classic on a par with Ocho's "Undress My Mind," another rainy day Latin-jazz soul ballad. The album's other soul number, Sheller's "Mother Jones," is also quite good. Most Picante albums are pleasant enough -- if never cage-rattling -- and offer at least one memorable track. Olé Ola fits the pattern.

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