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Luis Conte: En Casa De Luis

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You sure are in Luis’ house when you put this CD on. It is all about the percussion, and lots of it. Congas, bongos, bombo, timbales, maracas, shakers, guiro, cajón, quinto, pandeiros, shekere, cajita, qraqab, surdo, sabar, djembe, cymbals, claves, cowbell, cymbals, triangle, African water pots, bottle caps: If it’s not nailed down, Luis Conte is going to smack it. In fact, Conte plays multiple kinds of percussion on each song. Unless he grew eight extra arms, overdubbing is used liberally on En Casa de Luis, and there’s no shame in that. It only makes for a livelier album. And this album is, indeed, a party on a platter.

Conte has been making music since he was a child in Cuba, and though he hasn’t recorded prolifically under his own name, he has gigged and recorded with many, many, many artists, from Pat Metheny and Dianne Reeves to Joe Cocker and Madonna. These days he’s the percussionist in the orchestra on TV’s Dancing With the Stars. But what joy to hear him lead a session! It’s as though he’s been waiting his entire life to bust out like this.

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