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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Willie Bobo

By Tom Orr
Published April 3, 2007

Lost And Found
Concorde Picante

Despite the clownish implications of his adopted surname, Willie Bobo was a first-rate Latin jazz percussionist who proved his excellence alongside greats like Tito Puente and Cal Tjader in the ’50s and ’60s. A later solo career saw him blending soul, pop, R&B and boogaloo with his trademark Afro-Cuban grooves, leading to crossover hits like the greasy anthem “Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries.” His status as a true innovator, rhythmic master and engaging showman was cut short by his death at age 49, in 1983. Comprised of previously unreleased tracks recorded between 1970 and 1976 and unearthed by Bobo’s son Eric, Lost And Found is a prime sampling of classic Willie Bobo in all his easygoing glory. Latin jams, slow burners and pieces both smooth and gritty are here, laying down not only a party atmosphere but the wee-hours mellowness afterward. A long time coming and very much welcome.