“Dance Mania” by Tito Puente and his Orchestra - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1958Album Chart of the Decade: 1950s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

I’m not Latin. Nor am I dancer. I dislike the vast majority of Jazz records I’ve ever heard. But even I can dig a tune or two from Tito Puente’s “Dance Mania”. As a child, Tito was described as hyperactive, and, in 1930, after neighbours complained of hearing the seven-year-old beating on pots and window frames, his mother sent him to 25-cent piano lessons. By the age of 10, he switched to percussion, already drawing influence from jazz drummer Gene Krupa. Like Sabu Martinez, he started young and his destiny was set! A native of Spanish Harlem, Tito is directly of Puerto Rican descent and his communities adored him, as can be testified from his many nicknames; “The Musical Pope”, “The King of the Timbales” and “The King of Latin Music”. During the 1950s, Puente was at the height of his popularity, thanks largely to his dual abilities as a fast arranger and dynamic performer of both big-band mambo and jazz. Fused, these formed the basis for an entire popular dance genre. With the rise of the 12-inch LP in 1956, RCA signed Puente to an exclusive multi-year contract. Behind him already were “Puente Goes Jazz” (1956) and “Night Beat” (1957). “Dance Mania” was heralded for its authenticity, capturing as it did the real dancehall experience without need for compromise, as was so often the case with his peers. Runtimes were as songs required musically (not to suit radio stations) and there were, shock horror, vocals sung in Spanish (English speaking dancers looking for instrumentals could look elsewhere if they wished). The Spanish language vocals of Santos Colon are a big feature of the album. To this day, “Dance Mania” is the highest selling recording in the history of Latin dance music and practically every dance school that teaches mambo and cha-cha-cha uses it as a teaching tool. I wonder what those neighbours have got to say for themselves now, eh?

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:33] 6.2.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - El Cayuco (Tito Puente) Latin
A2 [03:18] 5.2.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - Complicacion (Francisco Aguabella) Latin
A3 [02:23] 5.0.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - 3-D Mambo (Ray Santos) Latin
A4 [03:10] 4.8.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - Llego Mijan (Tito Puente) Latin
A5 [04:10] 4.9.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - Cuando Te Vea (Tito Puente) Latin
A6 [03:42] 6.5.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - Hong Kong Mambo (Tito Puente) Latin
B1 [02:44] 5.2.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - Mambo Gozon (Tito Puente) Latin
B2 [03:55] 5.1.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - Mi Chiquita Quiere Bembe (Tito Puente) Latin
B3 [02:48] 4.5.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - Varsity Drag (Lew Brown, Buddy DeSylva, Ray Henderson) Latin
B4 [03:10] 1.5.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - Estoy Sempre Junto A Ti (Pepe Delgado) Orchestra Dance
B5 [02:55] 3.5.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - Agua Limpia Todo (Francisco Aguabella) Latin
B6 [03:02] 4.5.png Tito Puente and his Orchestra - Saca Tu Mujer (Tito Puente) Latin

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved