- Fantasy Warehouse Clearance Sale product may be specifically marked for one-way sale
- Released: June 30, 1995
- Label: Fantasy
- 1.Afro Blue
- 2.Mi Novia
- 3.Linda Guajira
- 4.Pito Pito
- 6.Para Ti
- 7.Watermelon Man
- 10.Conga Pa Gozar
- 12.Mi Guaguanco - (bonus track)
- 13.Para Ti - (alternate version, bonus track)
- 14.Las Guajiras - (bonus track)
Personnel: Mongo Santamaria (percussion); Rudy Calzado (vocals); Jose "Chombo" Silva (tenor saxophone); Rolando Lozano (flute); Felix "Pupi" Legarreta (violin); Joao Donato (piano); Willie Bobo (timbales); Armando Peraza (congas, bongos, percussion); Carlos Vidal (congas, percussion); Francisco Aguabella, Modesto Duran (congas); Nino Rivera (tres).
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (1995 Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California)
Personnel: Mongo Santamarˇa (congas, percussion); Rudy Calizado, Rudy Calzado (vocals); Ni¤o Rivera (tres); Felix "Pupi" Legarreta (violin); Rolando Lozano (flute); Chombo Silva, Jose Chombo Silva (tenor saxophone); Joao Donato (piano); Armando Peraza (congas, bongos, percussion); Carlos Yidal, Carlos Vidal (congas, percussion); Francisco Aguabella, Modesto Duran (congas); Willie 3030, Willie Bobo (timbales).
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Recording information: 1958-1963.
This is a excellent single-disc sampler of what Mongo Santamaria was like before "Watermelon Man" catapulted him into the charts. Some of the Fantasy tracks sound like the musicians were just off the boat from Havana, and are a bit primitive in contrast to the brassy Santamaria of the mid- to late '60s, but they have overwhelming charm. The revered "Afro-Blue" can be heard in its original, spooky, stripped-down form, and it would be hard for anyone to resist the voodoo spell that the ten-plus minute "Mazacote" conveys. Besides Santamaria himself, included among the world-class percussionists on this record are Willie Bobo and Armando Peraza. The CD version adds four tracks, including "Watermelon Man" from the Battle/Riverside period and an alternate take of "Para Ti." ~ Richard S. Ginell