Blues for Brother Hilton

It was around 1993, during an evening at the Osaka Blue Note jazz club, that I knew I was witnessing a moment in musical history I would remember for the rest of my life.

Tito Puente, the reigning mambo king on the timbales, had formed a new band, the Golden Latin Jazz All Stars, and was taking it on the road in the U.S. and overseas. A recording by the band released the year before, Live at the Village Gate, had been generating a buzz in the States and burning up my own CD player here in Japan for months. I dragged my wife along to the club with me, thinking I might never see the likes of this moment again. That turned out to be truer than I could have imagined.


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