Mongo Santamaria: Watermelon Man


Watermelon Man


Mongo Santamaria (percussion)


Watermelon Man (Milestone 47045)

Buy Track


Mongo Santamaria (percussion),

Marty Sheller (tp) Pat Patrick (alto sax, flute), Bobby Capers (tenor sax, flute), Rodgers Grant (piano), Victor Venegas (bass), Frank Hernandez (drumset), Kalil Madi (percussion), Joseph Gorgas (percussion), “Kako” (percussion), “Chihuahua” Martinez (percussion, vocal)


Composed by Herbie Hancock


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

“Watermelon Man” was an enormously successful hit for both Mongo Santamaria and its composer, Herbie Hancock. The trumpet player, Marty Sheller, plays the only solo in a song that features a groove-oriented melody in an arrangement favoring more Latin percussion than the Hancock original. This song anticipated the bugalu movement in Latin jazz that would take hold later in the 1960s. Bugalu (or boogaloo) incorporated elements of Cuban and Puerto Rican music, as well as American soul and R&B.

Reviewer: Mark Lomanno

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