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"After more than half a century of mastery on the conga drums, Francisco Aguabella remains one of the greats, ranking with Mongo Santamaria, Patato and Candido as an elder statesman of Afro-Cuban percussion."
- GLOBAL RHYTHM
"Legendary, incomparable conguero."
- JAZZ SCENE
"Cuban conga legend Aguabella delivers an irresistible mix of original compositions and excellent covers that will appeal to both jazz and Afro-Cuban aficionados... heaven sent."
Francisco is one of the first eschelon of drummers who came to America and are responsible for all drummes that came after them," says Latin percussionist John Santos in the movie "Sworn To The Drum". "He is one of the strongholds of our music and has always kept the commitment to our Cuban rhythm. He plays with everybody but always maintains our rhythm, that?s very important," adds Isreal "Cachao" Lopez.
Chano Pozo is widely acknowledged as the first Cuban drummer to make a mark in the American music scene. Directly following him were Patato Valdez, Candido, Mongo Santamaria and Francisco Aguabella. As a master of the Bata (talking drum) Aguabella immediately impressed many. He was hired early on by Dizzy Gillespie and during his career has played and recorded with Peggy Lee, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Malo and Carlos Santana.
The first Aguabella release on Cubop recordings is a re-issue of "Hitting Hard"-- an aptly titled rare groove record from the mid '70s. "Discovered" by Japanese DJ and Latin jazz afficionado Rapheal Sebbag (from the United Future Organisation), "Hitting Hard" exchanged hands for major money a few years back. For the first time, this gem is available on CD and we re-mastered the recording for release on quality vinyl. Mixing Latin jazz with soul , Brazilian influences and a raw funk feel "Hitting Hard" is defnitely one for fans of Pucho and The Latin Soul Brothers. Other Aguabella recordings now available on CuBop include: "Agua De Cuba", a new recording featuring some of Aguabella's legendary peers, and a re-issue of the heavy weight Latin jazz CD "H2O" are available exclusively through CuBop/Ubiquity Records.