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mikeweil

Tito Puente in the 1940' and 1950's

79 posts in this topic

I will cover all the RCA albums until 1960. I'm just waiting for the box Vol. 2 to arrive to get the recording dates it supposedly lists.

Edited by mikeweil

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Since we have taken a break from this discography, may I add that there are two excellent compilation CDs of Puente's jazzier 1950s stuff. Both come from RCA's late-1980s Tropical Series:

Mambo Beat: The Progressive Side of Tito Puente, Vol. 1

Yambeque: The Progressive Side of Tito Puente, Vol. 2

Both discs are all instrumental, and are composed of things with jazzier ensemble writing and (primarily) Latin rhythms. As someone who owns most of Tito's RCA 1950s albums, I can say that the producers did an excellent job of cherry picking the money cuts. 

I believe that some of the tracks that were included were singles only. Curiously, the "Night Beat" album is well represented, but other notable albums in these styles get only a few tracks, including "Puente Goes Jazz," "Top Percussion," and "Tambo." Perhaps the producers wanted these collections to focus on hidden gems and serve as companion volumes to the jazzier albums. 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Could you please post tracklists of these two? It seems they are not on discogs.

I'm still waiting for that box set. The seller warned me it might take 3-4 weeks, or longer.

Besides I am occupied with restoring our balcony to usable state after the whole house was freshly painted. We have a lot of flower pots and such .....

Edited by mikeweil

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7 minutes ago, mikeweil said:

Could you please post tracklists of these two? It seems they are not on discogs.

I'm still waiting for that box set. The seller warned me it might take 3-4 weeks, or longer.

Besides I am occupied with restoring our balcony to usable state after the whole house was freshly painted. We have a lot of flower pots and such .....

Will do. Good luck with the renovations!

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Mambo Beat:

  1. Mambo Beat
  2. The Late, Late Scene
  3. Night Hawk
  4. Minor Moods
  5. Malibu Beat
  6. Emerald Beach
  7. Live A Little
  8. Night Ritual
  9. Ti Mon Bo
  10. Elegua Chango
  11. Birdland After Dark
  12. Lotus Land
  13. Yesterdays
  14. Night Beat
  15. Carioca
  16. Tito 'In

Yambeque:

  1. Yambeque (Mambo Yambu)
  2. Take the "A" Train
  3. Four Beat Cha Cha Cha (Part 1: Original Master) 
  4. Four Beat Cha Cha (Part 2: Out Take) 
  5. Swinging The Mambo 
  6. Mambo Buda
  7. Mambozooka
  8. Habanero
  9. Cuban Nightmare
  10. Cuban Fantasy
  11. Mon-Ti 
  12. Cuero Pelao
  13. Caonao
  14. El Bajo
Edited by Teasing the Korean

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R-3566174-1335536006.jpeg.jpg

This box arrived here yesterday in pristine condition, still in shrinkwrap. But although the sound is good (remastering by Mike Haltry, BMG NYC Studios) the documentation is a disappointment. Three double CDs with complete personnel listings on the last page of the booklet, although in a less than optimum layout, giving the dates on which each musician performed, but ...... when one opens the meagre four page booklet one has a complete tracklist with composer credits, but no references to original 45 rpm or LP releases, and no recording dates!!! "Recorded prior to 1972" is all there is after each track. I'm speechless. How dumb can a reissue editor be?

I found a copy of the first box for cheap on discogs from a British seller. Let's see what surprises the paperwork on this one has in stock .... :rolleyes:

Edited by mikeweil

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1 hour ago, mikeweil said:

R-3566174-1335536006.jpeg.jpg

This box arrived here yesterday in pristine condition, still in shrinkwrap. But although the sound is good (remastering by Mike Haltry, BMG NYC Studios) the documentation is a disappointment. Three double CDs with complete personnel listings on the last page of the booklet, although in a less than optimum layout, giving the dates on which each musician performed, but ...... when one opens the meagre four page booklet one has a complete tracklist with composer credits, but no references to original 45 rpm or LP releases, and no recording dates!!! "Recorded prior to 1972" is all there is after each track. I'm speechless. How dumb can a reissue editor be?

I found a copy of the first box for cheap on discogs from a British seller. Let's see what surprises the paperwork on this one has in stock .... :rolleyes:

Has there ever been such a major artist with such limited information published about years of his greatest recording sessions?

 

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All the more annoying as all the information, including master numbers, is at hand in the RCA vaults.

I just read through the seven pages of liner notes by Fernando González in a seprate booklet (English/Spanish). He at least states from what album most of the previously released tracks are from, which were only on 78s and which were previously unreleased. So, with some detective work and putting together the info from different releases it might be possible to reconstruct sessions with personnel. But it will be much more work than I thought. I will type the info into the BRIAN database as I will have to do that anyway at some point, so I rather start with it. I will figure out a way to pass on this information and stick to a simpler format to shortly portray the albums in this thread.

On 24.5.2020 at 5:04 PM, mikeweil said:

TTK, do you know of any live recordings of Puente before 1960?

Why did I ask? Of course there is:

R-5523772-1395588147-1602.jpeg.jpg

Edited by mikeweil

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On 6/12/2020 at 9:55 AM, mikeweil said:

Why did I ask? Of course there is:

R-5523772-1395588147-1602.jpeg.jpg

Funny, I just played this one last weekend!  I love live borscht belt albums.  Is this really live?  Your box set apparently will not tell you.  Anyway, this is a very good album, a good blend of rhythms for dancers but jazzy chord voicings and ensemble writing for the hipsters in the audience.

I really wish that season 2 of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," which largely took place in the Catskills, would have included a Latin big band.  

On 6/3/2020 at 11:37 PM, Teasing the Korean said:

Mambo Beat:

  1. Mambo Beat
  2. The Late, Late Scene
  3. Night Hawk
  4. Minor Moods
  5. Malibu Beat
  6. Emerald Beach
  7. Live A Little
  8. Night Ritual
  9. Ti Mon Bo
  10. Elegua Chango
  11. Birdland After Dark
  12. Lotus Land
  13. Yesterdays
  14. Night Beat
  15. Carioca
  16. Tito 'In

Yambeque:

  1. Yambeque (Mambo Yambu)
  2. Take the "A" Train
  3. Four Beat Cha Cha Cha (Part 1: Original Master) 
  4. Four Beat Cha Cha (Part 2: Out Take) 
  5. Swinging The Mambo 
  6. Mambo Buda
  7. Mambozooka
  8. Habanero
  9. Cuban Nightmare
  10. Cuban Fantasy
  11. Mon-Ti 
  12. Cuero Pelao
  13. Caonao
  14. El Bajo

A little more detail on these two compilations.  All RCA stuff.

Volume 1, "Mambo Beat," is all recordings from 1956 and 1957,  Lots of "Night Beat" tracks on this collection,.

Volume 2, "Yembeque," spans 1950 to 1960, and has a more interesting variety.  This volume *may* include a few non-LP tracks.  "Mambo Buda" sounds better on here than it does on "Cuban Carnival," unless my ears are playing tricks.

Also, Mike, to make your discography a little less nightmarish, "Four Beat Cha Cha (Part 2: Out Take)" actually appears to be a coda for part 1.  They flow together seamlessly.  I don't know why they didn't just index them both as a single track. 

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Got my copy of the first RCA box today. The liner notes are less informative than in the second volume, there are recording dates after eacht track entry, but no personnel. Ironically, they mention the Bear Family reissue, which should have been their model for a properly documented reissue. What a discographical nightmare. I'm still trying to figure out the best way of turning all that fragmented information into a complete picture of things.

Thanks for the track lists, TTK. I may ask you for track timings for some tracks. That "outtake" of "Four Beat Cha Cha" probably is missing in the boxes. Do you have the means to digitize it?

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4 hours ago, mikeweil said:

Thanks for the track lists, TTK. I may ask you for track timings for some tracks. That "outtake" of "Four Beat Cha Cha" probably is missing in the boxes. Do you have the means to digitize it?

"Four Beat Cha Cha" part 1 is 2:28.

"Four Beat Cha Cha" part 2 is 0:50.

The way they are sequenced on "Yembeque," it sounds like a single track.  You wouldn't know the difference unless you were watching the numbers on the player.  

My guess is that it was intended as a coda to be edited on, but perhaps this didn't happen initially for whatever reason. 

I'm not sure they got the timing exactly right on "Yembeque," I would have to listen more closely, but you really don't notice any disruption.

On the other hand, it would be interesting if your box sets include a version that clocks in at around 3:18. 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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The second box includes only the 2:28 part. You have a real rarity there. So far the only issue I could find with a 3.18 version is this compilation (if you can trust the track timings on discogs):

R-8410586-1478462430-8710.jpeg.jpg

But a later CD reissue (after they had unearthed first generation tapes of some tracks) has only 2:28 on the back cover, while the discogs data give the longer timing (but this could be because the person who posted this info simply copied the data of the earlier CD version.   

The shorter version and "Cuban Nightmare" were originally issued  only on a 45 rpm single, it seems. But they stem from the sessions for the "Cuban Carnival" LP.

Edited by mikeweil

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On 6/24/2020 at 6:30 PM, mikeweil said:

The shorter version and "Cuban Nightmare" were originally issued  only on a 45 rpm single, it seems. But they stem from the sessions for the "Cuban Carnival" LP.

Interesting that two of the jazzier tracks were released as a single, while more commercial tracks were on the LP. 

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Slowly making my way through the discographical mess. But it will take time ..... The two RCA boxes are by no means complete, omitting alternates, and some rarities like the "outtake" TTK mentioned, the four tracks with Charlene Bartley, and the Abbe Lane LP Puente accompanied. Correlating the track lists with the personnel data from Box 2 equals a mathematical riddle with several unknowns and equations. :rolleyes:

Even the two Bear Family CDs have some minor typos, although they are the best, as far as discographical documentation is concerned. 

Edited by mikeweil

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3 hours ago, mikeweil said:

Slowly making my way through the discographical mess. But it will take time ..... The two RCA boxes are by no means complete, omitting alternates, and some rarities like the "outtake" TTK mentioned, the four tracks with Charlene Bartley, and the Abbe Lane LP Puente accompanied. Correlating the track lists with the personnel data from Box 2 equals a mathematical riddle with several unknowns and equations. :rolleyes:

Even the two Bear Family CDs have some minor typos, although they are the best, as far as discographical documentation is concerned. 

It's incredible that RCA would release TWO box sets and randomly spread the tracks from individual LPs over the two boxes.  You wonder why they would go through the trouble to do the box sets in the first place and then organize them in such a haphazard fashion.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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9 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

It's incredible that RCA would release TWO box sets and randomly spread the tracks from individual LPs over the two boxes.  You wonder why they would go through the trouble to do the box sets in the first place and then organize them in such a haphazard fashion.

Ask Joe Conzo - he seems to be the mind behind those two sets as well as the Quatro set.

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I'm slowly making progress in writing an excel file similar to the ones the Japanese reissue producers made for the first sessions (see my uploads linked on page 1).

As TTK requested I will rather comment on the contents and styles of the albums and post my thoughts on the music than continuing the cumbersome presentation of discographical details. These will all be found in the table.

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16 hours ago, mikeweil said:

I'm slowly making progress in writing an excel file similar to the ones the Japanese reissue producers made for the first sessions (see my uploads linked on page 1).

As TTK requested I will rather comment on the contents and styles of the albums and post my thoughts on the music than continuing the cumbersome presentation of discographical details. These will all be found in the table.

Looking forward.  Two of my favorites, and one of my least favorites, are coming up. 

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Just to keep you updated on my proceedings: The first part of the job is done, I think. I typed all tracks that I know of into an excel table, ordered by (sometimes guessed) recording date, including tracks that were released only on subsequent issues, or only on 45s/78s, and including "outtakes" or alternates that popped up on some CDs.

It turns out those two dreaded RCA box sets do not inlude any outtakes or alternates, and missed one track from the "Dancing Under Latin Skies" sessions that was on the LP, "Chattanooga Cha Cha". Go figure. 

Now comes the next part of the work, collating all the personnel listings from the second box set and relating them to the session dates. :rolleyes:

The third part will be typing all these data into the BRIAN discography database.

I ordered three more CDs to complete my collection, the one with Abbe Lane, the one with Woody Herman, and a Dance Mania compilation with lots of outtakes, some of which are not on the Dance Mania Legacy double CD. It still is a mess. 

Edited by mikeweil

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This thread has been so helpful in straightening out the confusing Tito Puente Complete RCA box sets. I've been using the excellent research here to make playlists that actually make sense.  Thank you.

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Wait 'til I publish the finished tables. Just found another Puente RCA sampler that includes an alternate to "Honk Kong Mambo" and another one that has master numbers for each track - I tend to think that the people responsible for the two box sets didn't really care or whatever - if they had wanted to do the job right, the data were all there, they just have had to invest some research hours!

R-4198751-1386733097-6791.jpeg.jpgR-4198751-1386733110-1459.jpeg.jpg

 

R-2557040-1310357845.jpeg.jpgR-2557040-1403373504-1140.jpeg.jpg

p.s. the master number and recording date for "Caonao" on the latter disc are wrong! These are the data for the next track, "Ti Mon Bo", which can be confirmed by the booklet of the Bear Family reissue. Same goes for some of the master numbers of tracks from the "Dance Mania" album. They list the same numbers for several tracks. I trust the Bear Family people in this case. Lazy typists in the RCA offices!

Edited by mikeweil

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Mike, are you planning to continue discussing the LPs in chronological order, based on whatever RCA included in those boxes?

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23 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Mike, are you planning to continue discussing the LPs in chronological order, based on whatever RCA included in those boxes?

This thread has done so much to untangle those box sets; otherwise, they would definitely have continued to gather dust.  

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33 minutes ago, Jim Duckworth said:

This thread has done so much to untangle those box sets; otherwise, they would definitely have continued to gather dust.  

Yea, I don't have those boxes, so I'm working from the original LPs, CDs, and some compilations.  

As I said earlier, you wonder why someone would go through the trouble to assemble the box sets in the first place, and then mess them up so badly.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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