Album Review #15: Dance Mania by Tito Puente and His Orchestra (1958)

dance-mania-tito-puente-and-his-orchestra

I enjoyed this album greatly. As the third album of Latin music in the last five albums I’ve reviewed, you’d think the genre would start getting tired by now. But, as I’ve learned, Latin music is a vast umbrella for countless incredible genres of music, of which there are simply too many to list. It’s a massive, fascinating world of music, and albums like Dance Mania by Tito Puente and His Orchestra are the cream of that world’s crop.

A trend I’ve noticed: in both Palo Congo and Kenya, my favorite part was the percussion. That holds true with this one. The drums are just so excited and interesting that they carry the music on their rhythm alone. This is music you need to move your feet to. Every song is pulsating with liveliness, and does every damned thing in its power to put a smile on your face. The record’s opener, “El Cayuco,” and the instrumental “3-D Mambo” are the album’s best two tracks, in my opinion. Every element of the jazz orchestra collaborates perfectly, creating an almost ridiculously cheerful musical blend that never loses its appeal even after multiple repeat listens.

Dance Mania by Tito Puente and His Orchestra is a truly enjoyable album. Usually I find that albums lose their luster after about 4-5 listens, but this one just never loses its sheen. It’s an excellent listen, filled with catchy rhythms and cheery melodies that almost anyone would find irresistible. Listen to this one: you might just like it.

Favorite Tracks: “El Cayuco,” “3-D Mambo,” “Cuando te Vea (Guáguanco)”

Next Up: Lady in Satin by Billie Holiday (1958)

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