(2016) Arriba! Con Montego Joe

Montego Joe

... read moreEverything about this album, from the artist's name and album title to the rather cheesy cover photo of a smiling tuxedo-clad man on a beach surrounded by congas, suggests to a cynical eye that Arriba! Con Montego Joe is kitschy exotica on par with Martin Denny or Les Baxter. And while that style of...

39′:55″ 6 Songs

1
Montego Joe
Fat Man
4:39
2
Montego Joe
Calling For The Angels In The Water
8:52
3
Montego Joe
The Jinx
6:11
4
Montego Joe
Too Much Saki
7:39
5
Montego Joe
Dakar
7:06
6
Montego Joe
Maracatu
5:28
Released 29 January 2016, exclusiv for streaming partners

Review

Everything about this album, from the artist's name and album title to the rather cheesy cover photo of a smiling tuxedo-clad man on a beach surrounded by congas, suggests to a cynical eye that Arriba! Con Montego Joe is kitschy exotica on par with Martin Denny or Les Baxter. And while that style of music has its fizzy charms, it turns out that Arriba! Con Montego Joe is something much meatier. Collecting the entirety of the two albums Montego Joe (born Joseph Sanders) made for Prestige (1964's Arriba! Con Montego Joe and 1965's Wild and Warm), these 17 tracks are a uniformly excellent blend of swinging, groove-oriented Latin percussion against soulful hard bop horns and piano (played by some kid with the unlikely name of Chick Corea). This unlikely combination works a treat, especially on the tracks that take a while to unfold, like the sinuous "Bata Blues," which marries some excellent soloing by Corea and tenor saxophonist Al Gibbons to the pitter-pat of the African tuned drums of the title. There is little that's groundbreaking on these albums, but Miles Davis would attract quite a lot of attention several years later for his cross-cultural experiments in a very similar style, and this is an intriguing early indication of that direction. ~ Stewart Mason