The Word: Everyone knows Mongo Santamaria but not everyone knows there was more than the mod-Latin of "Watermelon Man" and the funky-rock of the CBS periods. He first recorded on SMC and his later work with Marty Sheller (who also produced Monguito) epitomized Latin funk, if not also 1970s Latin jazz.
Mongo's son Monguito Santamaria (not to be confused with a singer who also recorded on Fania) made a handful of Latin-soul killers, true collectors items on Fania. If you can find and afford the originals, you'll have something!
As always, in Latin only the originals give you the sound of the original masters.
Further below: Mongo & Monguito Santamaria 45s
Links: are to artists bio/discog pages in the Hyp Records guide:
Images: accurately represent items but are not always the exact copy listed/purchased
Discount: ALWAYS try to buy more than one item at a time
Mongo Santamaria & his Band: Mongo at the Village Gate; Fantasy/Riverside RM-3529; 1963; E+/E+ $25 -- Latin jazz; live, perhaps his best LP; w/Frank Hernandez (the fantastic El Pavo!), Pat Patrick, Bobby Capers, Marty Sheller, Rodgers Grant, Victor Venegas, Chihuahua Martinez, Julian Cabrera; El Toro, Fatback, Mongo's Groove, Creole, The Jungle Bit, My Sound (conga solo), The Morning After, Nothing for Nothing
Mongo Santamaria: Sabroso!; Fantasy F-8058; 1987/1960 (OJC-281 REISSUE) N-/N S $15 -- when it comes to early Fantasy LPs, it always pays to get the reissue (early Fantasy originals are never noise-free); nice jacket!; Que Meravilloso, En la Felicidad, Pachanga Pá Ti, Tulibamba, Mambo de Cuco, El Bote (descarga), Pito Pito (mambo), Guaguanco Mania, Ja Ja-Ja, Tula Hula, Dimelo, A La Luna Me Voy, Para Ti (descarga)
Mongo Santamaria: El Pussy Cat; Columbia CS-9098; N/N S $25 -- Latin soul/Latin jazz; a smokin' classic!!!; 2nd jacket (Mongo rather than dancer) but purrfect!; El Pussy Cat, Afro Lypso, Ah Ha, Together, Ritmo Negro, La Gitana, Cuidado, Sarai, Hammer Head, Black-Eyed Peas
Mongo Santamaria: La Bamba; Columbia CS-9175; 1965; N-/E S $20 -- Latin soul/Latin jazz; of the earlier Columbia LPs, this is the smoker; "Do It to It" is an obscure killer; several other greats too: La Bamba, Fatback, Summertime, Manha de Carnaval, José Outside, Coconut Milk, Watermelon Man, Do It to It, Ricky Tick, Streak O'Lean, Just Say Goodbye, From Me to You All
Mongo Santamaria: Hey! Let's Party; Columbia CL-2473; 1966; 1st/deep groove E+/N- $30 -- Latin soul/Latin jazz/Latin; all-star players, classic record, scarce mono 1st press!; Walk On By, I Got You (I Feel Good), In the Mood, Baila Dance, Louie Louie, Satisfaction, Hey!, Call Me, El Bikini, Shotgun
Mongo Santamaria: Hey! Let's Party; Columbia CS-9273; 1966; E/E S $15 -- Latin soul/Latin jazz/Latin; all-star players; Walk On By, I Got You (I Feel Good), In the Mood, Baila Dance, Louie Louie, Satisfaction, Hey!, Call Me, El Bikini, Shotgun
Mongo Santamaria: Mongomania; Columbia CS-9412; first press N-/N- S $20 -- Latin soul/Latin jazz; the killing all-star Mongo band (Marty Sheller, Rodgers Grant, Victor Venegas, Bobby Capers, Carmelo Garcia, Ray Maldonado, Wayne Henderson, Sandra Crouch, Fred Hill, Cuco Martinez) in top form, doing funky, jazzy Marty Sheller material, all making it one of his very best!; I Wanna Know, Mongo-Nova, Old Clothes, The Goose, Mamacita Lisa, Mongo's Boogaloo, Bossa-Negra, Funny Man, Melons, Cuca and Olga
Mongo Santamaria Explodes at the Village Gate; Columbia CS-9570; V+/E+ S $15 -- Latin jazz/Latin soul; terrific, classic, essential live set featuring Hubert Laws, Rodgers Grant, Ray Maldonaldo all cooking & getting far away from standard pop covers; dynamite 10-minute "Afro Blue" (up there with Wali & the Afro Caravan & Dee Dee Bridgewater's versions) & super African fantasy "Elephant Pants"; further great stuff: Philadelphia, Juan Jose, Bloodshot, Yes it Do, Mongoettes, Springtime, No More
Mongo Santamaria's Greatest Hits; Columbia CS-1060; N/N shrink S $20 -- Latin soul/Latin jazz; hot, hot, essential compilation of the highpoints of his Columbia years (the best for DJs besides Explodes & Mongomania); girlie jacket but the music's the thing: We Got Latin Soul (stone-funky Latin-soul update of Dyke & the Blazers's gutbucket classic "We Got More Soul"--GREAT!!!), Fat Back, Watermelon Man, Cold Sweat, Green Onions, El Pussy Cat, La Bamba, The Now Generation, 25 Miles, Cloud Nine, Dock of the Bay
Mongo Santamaria: Mongo's Way; Atlantic SD-1581; 1971; cutout N/N S $30 -- Latin soul/soul jazz/funk; his last for the label is terrific! (ideal for DJs); Afro Walk, Congo Blue, Listen Here, Tell It, The Letter, Geechee Girl, Sometimes Bread, Saoco, Feathered Lane, Hippo Walk
Mongo Santamaria: Afro-Indio; Vaya XVS-38; 1975; N-/E+ S $25 -- Latin funk/Latin disco; gorgeous jacket & hip!; his last great/essential LP & one of the nicest things on Vaya; Creepin', Funk Up, Mambomongo, Funk Down, Los Indios, Lady Marmalade(!), The Promised Land, What You Don't Know, Song for You, Midnight & You
Monguito Santamaria: On Top; Fania LP-338; GOLD V+/V S $35 (or free with Blackout) -- Latin soul; best of his legendary 3 LPs for the label and one of the very best Fania Latin-soul LPs (insanely good); good for Latin-jazz fans too; first track on side 2 is damaged (skips) but rest pretty good; if you have a cheesy recent stereo reissue this would be an inexpensive original counterpart in true first-press mono sound or just a great value/good for DJs; Juicy, Soiron Cano, Indio, Boogaloo Sabroso, Puchi's Boogaloo (damaged, don't play), Mambo Village, Guajira y Son, Mi Guajira, Beans & Greens
Monguito Santamaria: Blackout; Fania LP-382; 1970; N/E shrink $400 -- Latin soul/Latin jazz/Latin; perfect, uncut jacket still in the shrink (disc is nothing to sneeze at, either!); one of the absolute rarest of the very heavy Fania LPs; while it's always possible that the most lucky and aggressive of serious collectors will get another shot at it in his lifetime, we say: good luck beating this one!; Crying Time, Asi Sere Para Ti, Guarara, You Need Help, Sueno Contigo, Todo es Todo, I've Got to Find, Son del Monte, All Your Talk
Mongo Santamaria: Funny Man/There is a Mountain; Columbia 4-44886; white-label promo E- $15 -- great for the funky A-side, but collectors should want the live B-side (Donovan tune)--not on LP!
Monguito Santamaria: Todo es Todo/Sueno Contigo; Fania 557; N- $30 -- Latin soul/Latin; "Todo es Todo" is one of the uptempo, hot tracks from the Blackout LP (one of the great rarities of Fania)
© Hip Wax