Pete Candoli, Marvin Brown, Joe Dolny, Johnny Audino (tp), Bob Enevoldsen (v-tb), Herbie Harper, Dickie Wells (tb), Herbie Stewart, Dick Houlgate (reeds), Al Escobar (p, arr), Fred Provencio (b), Modesto Durán, Lionel Suárez,Mechita Mejia (vcl, perc)
Reference: BMCD 867
Bar code: 8427328008679
· Collectors Edition
· Issued in Digipack
· 2 Original LPs on 1 CD
· Original Cover Art and Liner Notes
· Newly Remastered in 24-Bit
Al Escobar (1915-2015) was the boy from Barranquilla, Colombia, who made it in California in late Fifties as pianist and bandleader. Tito Puente introduced Escobar in the late 40s to the New York Latin music scene, where he worked in Puentes band with Vicentico Valdés before returning home for a couple of years. There, he organized an 11-man orchestra to work in country clubs and radio shows, and established an impressive reputation throughout Colombia.
When in 1952 Al returned to New York, he spent a year with Pupi Campos ebullient band. His next engagement was somewhat more exotic, as he became musical director for the sinuous Eartha Kitt. In that capacity, he toured with her along the nations plush club circuit.
In 1956 Al moved to Los Angeles, where he worked with the bands of Tito Rivera, Tony Martinez and Luis Arcaraz, and finally he joined bongoconga drummer Jack Costanzo at the Seville in Hollywood. This was to be the last step in his long apprenticeship. He was ready to go on his own as a master in his field. The Village Club asked him to organize his own orchestra, Conjunto Escobar. Al packed them in for 18 weeks, and the Seville invited him back for a few weeks for a total of 23. The band was the object of Walter Winchells enthusiasm. The famous columnist described the show as Escobars Afro-Cuban Rhythmagic, the name that later was given in 1957 to his first album. Certainly, it was the wonderful mixture of Latin American and American elements that made Escobars music so pleasing to North Americans.