Mongo Santamaria – Watermelon Man (Tappan Zee, 1979)

Originally making an appearance on Battle Records in 1963, but in this instance lovingly recorded from a Tappan Zee sampler (all tracks chosen by the faultless Bob James) this Grammy Hall of Fame inducted slice of latin disco funk is one of my favourite dancefloor selections for when the crowd are ready to go left. Pop pickers may recognise the intro as the basis for ‘Oxymoron’ from the Idjut Boys’ Key to the Tripod, and what an intro it is. The Cuban percussionist goes all out with some train track sounding vibes, then the bongos, then the kick, before finally dropping into some sort of copshow funk. He then takes Herbie Hancock’s Watermelon Man, pulls it apart before letting loose with some far out Jazz Funk. Truly dope.

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