Mongo Santamaria was born In Cuba in 1922 and came to the USA in 1950. Starting out as a straight forward charanga player he caught the wave of jazz interest among Latin players, particularly percussionists like himself, and began adding brass instruments and jazz voicings to his arrangements. His recording of Watermelon Man is rightly regarded as a classic (it was also an early major hit for the compositional talents of a young Herbie Hancock it's interesting how many of his tunes Latin players have used. Our Pucho Best Of-CDBGP 069 - has versions of Hancock's Cantelope Island and Maiden Voyage). Mongo Explodes (originally Riverside 3530) came out in 1964-.-Watermelon Man (originally Battle 6120) the year before. Musicians include saxophonist and flutist Hubert Laws, saxophonist Pat Patrick, Cannonball Adderley's cornet- playing brother Nat Adderley plus, of course, the leader on conga and bongos.