Louis Vega Presents Luisito Quintero Percussion Madness

Perennial master at work Louis Vega’s long-time rhythmic co-conspirator, the Venezuelan percussionist Luisito Quintero, steps out from the shadows and into the spotlight here with his debut disc, Percussion Madness. Picking up where they left off with the club oriented Elements of Life project, Quintero and Vega turn in a well-crafted set of Afro and bossa influenced house, genuine Afrobeat, and straight Latin nuttiness in the vain of each of their respective heroes. The hypnotic genius of Fela Kuti is recreated on a slow-burning interpretation of "Gbagada, Gbagada, Gbogodo, Gobgodo,” complete with a celebratory chorus line led by Francis Mbappe, while the late Tito Puente returns through Quintero’s "Four Beat Mambo” showcase. The completely live feel of cuts like "Acid” convey the sense that you’re actually in the studio, as errant voices and emotive screams let you know these guys are having some fun with it all. The record’s diverse mix of influences is culminated in album closer "Love Remains the Same,” with Quintero and soul/house champion Blaze creating a track that emits echoes of classic Stevie Wonder. In Luisito Quintero, more then a few of Vega’s secrets are clearly revealed. (BBE)