Quatro

Rather than plumb an uneven catalog that's miles deep, this five-disc compilation of the drummer, bandleader and late Latin-music icon prudently gathers four golden-era LPs circa 1955-1960, plus a batch of outtakes and earlier tracks. On Night Beat and Revolving Bandstand, you can hear Latin jazz evolving by leaps and bounds. But Cuban Carnival (with the fiery "Pa' Los Rumberos," later covered by Santana) and the landmark Dance Mania (consider it Daft Punk's "Homework" for the mambo generation) contain the real fireworks, all swirling horn charts and nuclear-powered cha-cha grooves designed to blow minds on the dance floor. Remastered and gleaming, they no doubt still will. 

Listen to 'Quatro':

From The Archives Issue 1170: November 22, 2012
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