When I released my first jazz album, 'The King Arrives,' in 1969, it sold over 150,000 copies. I strayed away to vocal jazz, but I have wanted to do an instrumental album like 'Conga Serenade' for a long time. 'Conga Serenade' is full of joyful songs: some are reminiscent of the rhythms of my Bahamian childhood; others are updated versions of my favorite movie themes; one track, 'Apache,' is a nod to my early days with the Incredible Bongo Band; and, I have added some new songs that I hope will become favorites, including 'Dancing Josie,' which is a tribute to my late mother, Josephine Johnson, who was as well known for her dancing as she was for her wonderful cooking. I hope you enjoy this album, which I consider one of my best in years, as much as I enjoyed putting it together for you. If you know me from my over three decades as a percussionist for Neil Diamond's band, you will see some familiar names listed in the credits. Alan Lindgren and Tom Hensley co-arranged some of the tracks; Tom also played keyboards on 'Great Escape,' and several other band members, Larry Klimas (saxophone), John Fumo (trumpet) and Don Markese (reeds/winds) contributed their considerable musical skills. Other featured perfomers include Las Vegas-based jazz guitarist extraordinaire Ronnie Rathers and fellow guitar players David T. Walker, Wawa Watson and T-Bone Demman (who was instrumental in the mixing of the CD), bassist Donald Philipps, and drummer Ndugu Chancellor. So sit back (if you can -- you'll probably be up and dancing) and enjoy! And please leave a comment -- I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Your friend, 'The King of the Congas,' King Errisson.
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