Tito Puente

Platinum & Gold Collection

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The BMG Heritage budget series Platinum & Gold Collection works best when it covers those artists who have a short discography of prize-winners, since 12 songs may be all that most listeners need to hear of the Real McCoy or the Verve Pipe. Tito Puente, of course, enjoyed a career that lasted over half a century, most of which never appeared on BMG-associated labels. Still, Platinum & Gold Collection works surprisingly well, because it includes the most energizing music of Puente's entire discography -- his late-'40s and early-'50s sides for RCA -- and, for the purposes of the curious, it will be all they'll need. Highlights include "Ran Kan Kan," "Hong Kong Mambo," and "Cao Cao Mani Picao."

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