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Track Previews

1. Sing Sing Sing
2. Bemba Colora
3. Bop Mambo
4. Birks Works
5. Mambo Costanzo
6. El Cuarto De Pedrona
7. Green Onions
8. Bongo Jam
9. La Connection
10. W.L.G.
11. Creole Spice
12. Calypso Blues
13. Somos Cubano
14. After Hours

“Mr Bongo” Costanzo came to these sessions with a complete
concept, some great arrangements, and musicians that excel as an
ensemble or as soloists. "Scorching the Skins" is a reflection
of Costanzo and his on going musical journey; an exciting ride through
mambo, jazz, son montuno, rhythm & blues, swing, and even some
New Orleans second line."

In addition to the exhilerating Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms,
the persuasive vocals of Marilu and an all around tight band this
CD includes a bonus track called "Bongo Jam". Recorded
in England many years ago (date unknown) as part of a rare session
with British jazz musician Tubby Hayes, it was included here to
rescue it from obscurity and because it’s proof of the Costanzo

Jack Costanzos big break came in 1947 when Stan Kenton brought him
into his band, allowing the spread of the bongo gospel beyond the
borders of the U.S. It was during this tenure that jazz critic Leonard
Feather dubbed Costanzo "Mr. Bongo". It's Jack's bongos
you hear on such Kenton tunes as "The Peanut Vendor",
"Cuban Carnival", "Monotony", "Abstruction",
and "Bongo Riff". Although Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie
get much of the credit for the "birthing" of Afro-Cuban/Latin
jazz, Costanzo & Kenton should also be held in the same regard.
1949 to 1953 Costanzo worked with Nat King and can be heard on the
original version of such Cole tunes as "Calypso Blues",
covered on “Scorching The Skins”. He has recorded for
labels like Norgran, Verve, GNP, Liberty, Sunset, and Tico. Just
to list Jack's recording and live credits would take many pages,
but they include Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young,
Miles Davis, Max Roach, Bud Powell, Buddy Rich, Harry James, Shorty
Rogers, Art Pepper, Slim Gaillard, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald,
Perez Prado, and The Supremes. In the '50s and '60s in Hollywood,
he was the "bongo player" to the stars; and he also appeared
in several major motion pictures and guested on numerous TV shows.
His students/playing partners included Marlon Brando, James Dean,
and Gary Cooper. His movie roles included Harum Scarum with Elvis
Presley, Bernadine with Pat Boone, and Man From The Diner's Club
with Danny Kaye; and television appearences included the Ed Sullivan
and Dinah Shore Shows. He can also be heard on the original soundtracks
to Orson Welles' A Touch Of Evil, Jerry Lewis' The Delicate Delinquent
and television's Mission Imposible.

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