\"A wild personality and a funny cat, he\'s exciting and pixie-ish at the same time.\"
Patato made a name for himself as a character as well as a musician. Whether jumping on top of his congas barefoot or appearing on television (including \"The Bill Cosby Show\"), Patato\'s image was that of a man who knew how to have a good time - and didn\'t mind sharing that knowledge.
After leaving Herbie Mann in the mid 1960s, Patato teamed up with the singer Totíco, a boyhood friend from Havana, on the 1967 Verve album Patato y Totíco, This record documented the vitality of an increasingly important rumba scene that was emerging in NYC and included such giants as Israel \"Cachao\" Lopez on bass and Arsenio Rodriguez on tres.
In the following years, Patato recorded and toured with virtually all of the world\'s leading Latin Jazz artists, including Cachao and Machito. In 1995, he recorded the first of two albums in the series Ritmo y Candela, with the second volume coming a year later. Both albums received Grammy nominations in the newly appointed Latin Jazz category. Patato: The Legend of Cuban Percussion is compiled from those two recordings, and even on a record with several world-class drummers, there\'s no mistaking Patato\'s playing. The congas leap out of the music, chattering and throbbing, and propelling the band through a dizzying series of musical changes bursting with musical surprises.
Drummerszone.com endorser Martin Verdonk:
\"He is one of the most influential players of all time. Being one of the first to add more drums to the single conga, he was a true pioneer and one who reshaped the scene. He added the melody to the drums, and I remember Giovanni always talking about him in his clinics. He is one of the old masters like Mongo and Tito that layed down the road that we walk musically now.\"
\"When la Comparsa El Cocuye came by the streets of Havana, you could hear the quinto 20 blocks away before any other instrument. It was a small giant playing that quinto \"Patato\".
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