Released on a French label in 1976, this Latin-Jazz album almost never saw the light of day. Thankfully, a few copies existed in a few record shops in London, and DJ Paul Murphy, who was a vital part of the jazz scene at the time, played tracks from Mananita Pampera to a dedicated crowd who loved the rhythmic compositions by the Argentinian saxophonist Hugo Heredia, who along with his band of talented musicians, truly created a masterpiece.
The album is 7 tracks long and is divided in two sides. The flute-heavy opener of “Mananita Pampera” is gorgeous and sets the tone for this album. It explodes into life on “El Beto,” with syncopated drumming and a wailing flute performance that truly captivates you, locking you in a groove and a sound that is infectious and just wonderful. The tempo of the project slows down on “Have You Met Miss?” with an emotive saxophone performance from the talented musician, as well as a wonderful piano composition that adds to the character of the record. It’s playful and engaging, as with the other tracks on the album. “Tunita” is an intense, percussion-heavy track with an infectious rhythm. The emphatic saxophone leads are truly phenomenal, with the intensity building up as the track progresses. The saxophone leads on “Carmen Pequena” and “Al Bebbe Guia” are intense and mesmeric, as they are complemented by intense drumming and piano that sound incredibly animated and frantic in tempo. They close the album out brilliantly, as the infectious drumming locks you into a groove until the very last beat. This album is incredible and an undeniable classic, so it’s amazing to see this being reissued.
Listen to Hugo Heredia’s excellent 1976 album Mananita Pampera below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support! Reissued by Jazz Room Records.