Tito Puente

Puente in Love

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AllMusic Review by

Now this is the tip. Tito Puente, master percussionist and vibes boss laying it down smooth and mellow for punters in the mood...to dance Latin that is! The true reining king of the cha-cha mixes it up here with a few well-placed mambos as well. Here are wonderfully rearranged cha-cha covers of "My Funny Valentine," "Autumn Leaves," "All of You," and "Temptation," along with devilishly seductive original mambos such as "Mambo Tipico," the "Cool Mambo," and the "Nuevo Mambo." Through it all, Puente's vibes are airy and ethereal, floating above the mix of the orchestra like a soft summer breeze, coaxing, whispering, and seducing wallflower lovers out onto the floor to heat up the evening. There is magic in these shifting rhythms, insistent invention in the arrangement of horns against piano against drums against vibes. All of it geared to move those in earshot, but without any edges to provoke disregard or suspicion that somehow this music is more lounge-oriented than dance-created. Despite the corny title and cover, this one of Puente's most aesthetically beautiful recordings. Indeed, this is one of Puente's most subtle and unassuming masterpieces.

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