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Tito Puente: Night Beat

Now that Tito Puente is headed for retirement and his recording output exceeds 100+ releases, it seems appropriate that listeners will start to see more Puente reissues. The eleven cuts on Night Beat are taken from three 1957 recording sessions and they illustrate Tito’s big band style with its gliding, clean and precise horn lines atop the superb rhythms of Tito on timbales, Bobby Rodriguez, bass, William Correa, bongo, and Mongo Santamaria, congas. The swinging brass and reed section counts as many as five trumpeters, four saxophonists, and three trombonists. Worth mentioning are Marty Holmes’ tenor on “Live a Little” and “Mambo Beat,” Gene Quill’s biting alto on “Malibu Beat” and “The Late Late Scene,” also Eddie Bert’s trombone on this number, and the sizzling trumpet line that includes Doc Severinsen and the late Jimmy Frisaura, who also served as Puente’s business manager for 40 plus years. The arrangements, always a source of delight on a Puente recording, are by Tito, Marty Holmes, A.K. Salim, and Gene Roland.

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