Mongo Santamaría – Sofrito

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Sofrito, the 1976 album by Latin jazz great Mongo Santamaría, is to be reissued in a remastered vinyl edition on May 13 by Craft Latino, the Latin repertoire arm of Craft Recordings.

This highlight of the Cuban percussionist and bandleader’s distinguished discography has had lacquers cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, and i’s pressed on 180 gram audiophile quality vinyl. A special bundle offer including a limited edition Sofrito T-shirt is available exclusively at the Fania store. A 180 gram Salsa Roja Red Vinyl exclusive variant will be released by Vinyl Me, Please.

Publicity for Sofrito describes it as a “soulful, kaleidoscopic Latin jazz session…at a time when most Afro-Caribbean giants were flirting a little too closely with disco and easy listening, the Cuban percussionist’s cosmopolitan vision struck an enviable balance between the stylistic exploration of the era and a sobering commitment to the essence of Latin jazz roots…Sofrito grooves like few other records, and stands today as a paradigm of tasty 70s fusion” (UDiscoverMusic).

All in all, Sofrito is as delicious as it looks. Thank God it’s back in print — for now (Down Beat).

Track listing:

A1 – 0:00 – Iberia [Written by Armen Donelian]
A2 – 4:36 – Cruzan [Written by Armen Donelian]
A3 – 12:18 – Spring Song [Written by Armen Donelian]
A4 – 19:28 – Sofrito [Written by Neal Creque]
B1 – 25:31 – O Mi Shango [Written by Mongo Santamaria]
B2 – 29:56 – Five On The Color Side [Written by William Allen]
B3 – 35:42 – Secret Admirer [Written by William Allen]
B4 – 40:10 – Olive Eye [Written by Marty Sheller]
B5 – 43:41 – Princess [Written by Marty Sheller]


Arranged By – Armen Donelian (tracks A1 to A3), Marty Sheller (tracks A4, B4 to B5), William Allen (tracks B1 to B3)
Bass Clarinet – Roger Rosenberg (track B2)
Bass Guitar – Eddie (“Gua Gua”) Rivera, William Allen (tracks B1 to B3)
Bata – “Cachete” (Angel Maldonado) (tracks B1, B3), Julito Collazo (tracks B1, B3)
Bongos, Cowbell, Congas, Percussion – “Peachy” (Greg Jarmon)
Congas – Mongo Santamaria
Coro – Marcelino Guerra (track A4), Marcelino Valdez (track A4), Mario Munoz (track A4)
Drums [Traps] – Bernard Purdie (track B3)
Drums [Traps], Timbales, Bata, Percussion – Steve Berrios
Electric Piano, Piano [Acoustic], Synthesizer [Arp String Ensemble], Clavinet – Armen Donelian
Flugelhorn – Mike DiMartino (“Coco”) (track A3)
Flute [Solo] – Gonzalo Fernandez (track A4)
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Roger Rosenberg
Tenor Saxophone, Flute [Soprano & Alto] – Al Williams
Trumpet – Mike DiMartino (“Coco”)
Vocals – Edna Holt (track B2)


Label: Vaya Records – VS-53, Vaya Records – JMVS-53
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1976