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The Best of Pucho & his Latin Soul Brothers  - Pucho & his Latin Soul Brothers (Compilation) - 1967-1970
Label: Prestige 24175-2 (USA)
Format: CD
From: USA
My rating: 6/10

Entered: 09/18/2002
Last updated: 09/18/2002

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Although presented in an ugly package (Prestige/Fantasy's 'Legends of Acid Jazz' series), this is a nice compilation of tracks from Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers albums on Prestige in the late 60s: Jungle Fire!, Dateline, Shuckin' and Jivin', Heat and Big Stick.

Many of the tracks are simple, well-executed latin jazz jams with piano, horns and a lot of percussion. Some, like 'Psychedelic Pucho' and 'Heat,' remind me of the work on Ray Barretto's 'Acid' album, except without the vocals. Repetetive and long, these would make great party music.

Others, such as 'Swamp People,' and 'Swing Thing' get a bit more frenetic and jazzy. In contrast, there are also some slower, meditative pieces, like 'Return to me', a slow piece with piano, bongos and delicate horns.

Some standards are tackled: there's a great, vibrant Latin Jazz workout of 'Dearly Beloved', while 'Here's that rainy day', which I know mainly from Julie London and Astrud Gilberto's versions, is given a delicate treatment with piano, strings and vibes.

I like Pucho, but don't want to listen to him every day, and so this compilation suits me quite well.

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