A pair of tremendous albums from Mongo Santamaria – back to back in one cool collection! Soul Bag is a stone 60s smoker from Mongo Santmaria – and a great little set that really lives up to its title! The "soul" reference points to the record's host of 60s soul tunes, which are given a hip Latin spin by Mongo – working here with killer boogaloo arrangements from the great Marty Sheller – with a combo that includes soulful reed lines from Hubert Laws, Sonny Fortune, and Mauricio Smith – plus trumpet from Luis Gasca
, and some killer drums from the legendary Pretty Purdie! The mix of jazz and Latin players on the record is really wonderful – and although the tunes are familiar, the presentation is mighty fresh – especially given the way the horn players manage to pack so much into their solos. Titles include "Baby What You Want Me to Do", "Hot Dog", and "Chili Beans" – plus cool versions of "Cold Sweat", "In The Midnight Hour", "Respect", and "Green Onions". Stone Soul is a killer album from Mongo Santamaria's classic 60s run for Columbia – and a record that also features some wonderful alto work from a young Sonny Fortune! Sonny's the key soloist on the record – bringing some sharp jazz elements to an album that's equal part Latin and 60s soul instrumental – served up with key arrangements from Marty Sheller, and played by a cool mix of Latin and soul players that includes Mongo on congas and bongos, plus Pretty Purdie on drums, Haldey Caliman and Hubert Laws on tenor, Luis Gasca
on trumpet, and Stephen Berrios, Julito Collazo, and Osualdo Martinez on percussion! Tunes are a mix of covers and cool originals – and titles include "Hitchcock Railway", "See Saw", "Cloud Nine", "Where We Are", "Love Child", "Who's Making Love", and "The Now Generation".