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Orchestra Mambo International 'Mambo Te Llama' (ATA)

Orchestra Mambo International
'Mambo Te Llama' / 'Del Callejón'
(ATA Records)

Another ATA sureshot!

This label really can do no wrong, literally everything they put out is 100% authentic and completely drenched in superb musicianship. It also sounds amazing, why? because it's recorded at Neil Innes' All Things Analogue studio in Leeds. Very much like when you spot an album produced by Sonny Lester or Rudy Van Gelder, or recorded in a studio like Muscle Shoals, these physical facts almost always take some guesswork out of finding music, if that vinyl is pressed with any of those names, you know that a level of quality and class is pretty much guaranteed.

And so it is with ATA, and this 45 is no exception. Orchestra Mambo International is a 12-piece UK ensemble that play classic salsa, mambo and cha cha cha inspired by Latin music legends like Tito Puente, Machito, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, Tito Rodriguez and the Fania All-Stars. Featuring musicians from Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, Spain and the UK, they have played with a host of legends and contemporary bands; Joe Bataan, Tito Allen, The New Mastersounds, Oscar D'Leon, Matthew Halsall, Snowboy & The Latin Section, Bobby Matos, Larry Harlow, Dave Valentin, Grupo X, Salsa Celtica, and The Haggis Horns. Now that is some pedigree!

"Mambo Te Llama" is a superb uptempo Latin dance track inspired by legendary New York Puerto Rican band leader/percussionist Tito Puente. It is a perfect example of the genre, with an arrangement that takes you everywhere a killer dancefloor Mambo should take you! An explosive intro quickly drops into a deep groove before some slick solos on keys and congas set up an equally explosive end section. Throughout all of this, the players' precision in their musicianship, coupled with a production that picks out every instrument beautifully, achieves the perfect Mambo. And that's just the A side, the B side is equally gorgeous with 'Del Callejón'.

If Latin music is your thing, this will slot right into your playbox. It's certainly going into mine!

Buy: Bandcamp