Cal Tjader’s success in the 1950s, plus the support he received from Fantasy Records, created a surge in Latin music activity on the West Coast. Musicians from Central America who had relocated to California suddenly found the opportunity to work and record with groups of their own, creating music in the process that rivaled that of the more famous stars in the genre. This collection features two such talented percussionists of the period, Panama’s Benny Velarde and Cuba’s Francisco Aguabella, who had found their way to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively. While the original liner notes stress that the music is made for listening and dancing, it is hard to imagine anyone who does the former not also indulging in the latter.
VELARDE ORCHESTRA with Terry Summa, Manuel Duran, Armando Paolini, Lionel Samuels, Eddie Duran, Carlos Duran, Pete Escovedo, Cliff Anderson, Felo Brito, Tito Garcia, Felix "Pupi" Legarreta
AGUABELLA ORCHESTRA with Rolando Lozano, Shirley Price, Rene Hernandez, Emil Richards, Al McKibbon, Nicholas Martinez "Cuco," Jani Rodriguez