Tito Puente / Tito Puente Orchestra

Night Beat

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Although Latin percussionists (including Mongo Santamaria) are utilized on this set (a RCA album reissued in 1998 as a Koch CD), most of the selections certainly do not sound like they came from a Tito Puente record. For a change of pace, Puente is heard leading a fairly straight-ahead big band which includes among its main soloists trumpeter Doc Severinen (heard throughout in excellent form) and tenor saxophonist Marty Holmes, who often recalls Paul Quinichette. From the opening stripper-style blues of "Night Beat," through a variety of group originals and an uptempo "Carioca," the music swings and generally avoids most of the expected Latin influences. A very interesting (and musically rewarding) departure for Puente.

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