Mongo's graduation from Columbia to Atlantic, and from Top 40 covers to funkier soul-jazz, could not have been more welcome.
At least half the credit for his new sound goes to Neal Creque, who wrote six of the ten tracks here.
Featuring heavy soul-jazz with crack Latin percussion, Mongo '70 is consistently dramatic and evocative, so much so that it could've easily been the score for a movie.
Nothing rates as filler, and the end is particularly strong.
The funky "Mo' Do'" is followed by "Grass Roots," which has everything: guitar, vibraslap, mournful horns; "Dedicated to Love" is nearly an update on "Peter Gunn." Jon Hart's bass may be mixed a little high, but heavy funk is the message here.
That and the fact that Neal Creque has arrived.