Honest Jons logo

Superlative, thrilling, real-deal big-band mambo, cha-cha and guaguanco from 1958, featuring Ray Barretto and vocalist Santos Colon. Essential Latin jazz.

The master percussionist’s solo debut, for Zephyr in 1956, leading the horns through crime-jazz and Latinized dancers, with plenty of his old-boss Stan Kenton in the mix.

Probably his most celebrated album, from 1957: three congas (including Ray Barreto), bongos, timbales and tympani, plus tenor and baritone sax, trombone, and Oscar Pettiford.

The Monk and Randy Weston bassist cutting loose in a 1958 fusion of jazz and Middle Eastern folk, alternating on oud himself, in amongst violin drones, kanoon, darabeka, drums… and Johnny Griffin. Lovely stuff.