In the Havana “Barrio” where Armando Peraza was born (no date available!) young boys learn to play the congas as nturally as their United States or European counterparts might learn to play ball. But if the ability is commonplace, the special depth or power that always separates a star from the crowd is rare.
Armanzo Peraza was one of the rare ones and his boyhood friendship with two other gifted players, Mongo Santamaria and Patato, only served to hone his skills to greater magnitude and strength.
Peraza went to the US in the late forties and joined Slim Gallard’s band in San Francisco, Subsequently, he played with many groups in the area and frequently sat with Dave Brubeck’s early group of which Cal Tjader was a member. He worked with Tjader again when they were both members of George Shearing’s band. But while Tjader left to form his own group, Peraza stayed with Shearing for eleven years, his reputation growing all the while. In the mid 60’s he joined Cal Tjader’s group. It was Tjader who felt Peraza’s skills demanded an album that would put them into full focus.