Sony / Tropi Jazz
* * *
What this album lacks in originality, it certainly makes up for in zest, enthusiasm and solid arrangements. The Puerto Rican percussionist, considered by many the best living conguero, displays his dazzling mastery of Latin percussion in this mix of straight-ahead standards and original works by pianists Hilton Ruiz and Eric Figueroa, among others. It is in the standards that the blend of Latin rhythms and jazz works best, however, notably in Ruiz's imaginative arrangements of "It Don't Mean a Thing" and "Seven Steps to Heaven" and Figueroa's arrangement of "Summertime."
New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four (excellent).