Number of discs: 1
Original Release Date: May 16, 2000
An album that's justifiably titled. Carlos "Patato" Valdes is indeed a legend of Cuban percussion, having played with Herbie Mann and Tito Puente among others, before leading his own ensembles. This record compiles tracks from his two Ritmo y Candela recordings of the mid-'90s, and an absolute joy it is. Patato's congas percolate at the front of the mix, heading a band comprised of some superb, and often adventurous (check out the piano on "Son de Patato"), Cuban jazz players. But things become especially interesting when African players join the mix on "Kora Son" and "Senor Blues/Mbuka Enoka" as the Horace Silver classic mutates into West African melody. Throughout it's Patato who's in command, his playing an inspiration to the younger generation accompanying him. He might be in his 70s here, but like the Buena Vista Social Club musicians, he's still very much at the top of his game and making a very joyful noise indeed. Age is nothing but a number.