Baxter, Les – “Skins! Bongo Party With Les Baxter” – [Capitol Records]
“When I think back to all the crap I listened to in high school…” Listening to this makes up for all of that. A sparkling gem in the Jack Diamond collection, this well-produced album of native-born musicians playing all manner of drums gets you moving and takes you to the places where the beats hail from. Baxter himself plays a mean Porto Seguro harpsichord piano. The drum family is shown on the album back, along with excellent track-notes. Brazil, Belgian Congo, Cuba, and Puerto Rico are among the countries contributing the musicians and beats to this fantastic album. Samba, merengue, and 6/8 rhythms will pull you to your feet and get you shaking.