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Palo Congo (1957)

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Sabu Martinez

Sabu Martinez's debut as a leader mostly features percussionists (other than bassist Evaristo Baro), including the leader, Arsenio Rodriguez (who doubles on the tres), Cesar Travieso, Quique Travieso, andRay "Mosquito" RomeroMartinezRodriguez, and Travieso also join Willie Capo and Sarah Baro in singing and chanting. Six of the eight songs are Martinez's originals, although the most memorable cut is the opening "El Cumbanchero," which has a catchy melody and a Martinez vocal that in tone sounds surprisingly like Cab Calloway in spots. Intriguing African-oriented music.