This CD features songs that merge blistering bebop with red-hot Afro-Cuban rhythms and what you hear is one of the most exciting styles of Latin jazz -- Cubop. This powerful collection, the second in the Colors of Latin Jazz series, spotlights essential performances by both Latin jazz pioneers and contemporary innovators that have recorded for Concord Picante over the years. The previously released material ranges from "Things to Come" from Mambo of the Times and "Donna Lee" from Royal T by the great Tito Puente to "Lover Come Back to Me" by Poncho Sanchez. Tito Puente joined him as a special guest star on this song originally released on Chile Con Soul. This is a brilliant musical excursion of Latin styles at the hands of its masters. Just one listen to "Things to Come" will make you leave any seat you're in and celebrate the music and dance of the all-time great mambo king. Tito "El Rey" Puento plays the most exciting percussion and shows why the timbales are so important to a Latin orchestra. This is Latin jazz excellence that only a select group of artists have attained. Ray Vega gives a "Cu-Bop Alert" with the exciting Mongo Santamaria and shines on "Hub-Tones" with special guest Steve Khan on this exciting song from his excellent CD and tribute to trumpet masters entitled Boperation. Nick Phillips also gives you "A Night in Tunisia" compliments of the Caribbean Jazz Project and Cal Tjader takes you to the "Serengeti" via his Concord Picante release La Onda Va Bien. Phillips also selected "Beautiful Love" and "Work Song" by Ray Baretto and New World Spirit to add to the Ancestral Messages. Ray gives his cross-cultural instructions to the Nat Adderley hit originally issued on Baretto's CD titled Taboo. Imagination, "attitude" and the "coolest of Cubop," and the hottest red-hot Latin jazz styles are what make Cubop! a must have.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein