Like many DJs of my generation my initial interest in vinyl records began through my love affair with hip hop. In earlier years the goal was to find doubles of anything funky and especially with drum breaks to cut up. Of course, with this approach I let many other incredible recordings slip through my fingers during those days.
Honestly, it’s only been in the last five years that my ears have finally opened to the more sophisticated (but not always less funky) forms of jazz. Fortunately, from those dark ages there are a number of battered Blue Note and Prestige records with such irresistibly good music they escaped my shameful squandering.
Art Blakey’s classic Blue Note LP “Holidays For Skins” is one such record that defied the odds with four amazing Latin jazz arrangements, each chalked full of rich Afro-Latin percussion provided by some of the greats (check the full band lineup below!). Even back then names like Sabu Martinez, Ray Barretto, Donald Bryd and Ray Bryant were obvious targets. This is definitely a record that has grown on me over time and has continually fueled my growing love for Afro-Cuban jazz.
Enough talk, let’s listen!
Reflection Side 2 Song 2
Personnel: Art Blakey, drums; Philly Joe Jones, drums and tympani; Art Taylor, drums and gong; Sabu Martinez, bongo and conga; Ray Barretto, Chonquito Vicente, congas; Victor Gonzalez, bongo; Andy Delannoy, maracas and cencerro; Julio Martinez, conga and treelog; Fred Pagani Jr., timables; Donald Bryd, trumpet; Ray Bryant, piano; Wendell Marshall, bass