Album: Tino Contreras, El Jazz Mexicano de Tino Contreras (Jazzman)

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The Independent Culture

Pre-Columbian jazz? The Mexican drummer and bandleader Tino Contreras pioneered the fusion of groovy, "Take Five"-like 1960s modernism with elements based on Aztec ritual and symbolism.

Add microtonal compositions, jazz waltzes laced with Indian mysticism ("Ravi Shankar"), mad psychedelic effects and bongos a-go-go and this lovingly annotated 16-track compilation packs a punch from start to finish. He wore really cool shades, too.