Percussionist Candido Camero has had a huge impact upon the way that we look at percussion in the Latin Jazz world, changing the shape of the congas on so many different levels. Bringing a new level of independence to the instrument, along with new techniques, an revolutionary approach to conga tuning, and an innate connection to jazz improvisation, Camero became an essential part of the Latin Jazz world and brought conga playing into the modern age. Without a doubt, congueros around the world owe Camero a debt of gratitude for his innovations on the instrument; the techniques that they are taking into the twenty-first century started years over ninety years ago with Candido.
This video finds Camero performing with another legend at the piano, as he joins Dr. Billy Taylor’s trio for a stirring rendition of the Mario Bauza classic “Mambo Inn.” While Taylor may be leading this group with a solid bit of fire and an encyclopedic knowledge of jazz harmony, melody, and theory, Camero steals the show here with a blazing conga solo. As the group reaches the end of the song, there’s no doubt who owns this song, as Camero shows an intense amount of heart.
This is a great look at a living legend who changed the state of Latin music on so many levels – Viva Candido!
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