Willie Bobo was one of the biggest percussionists in Latin jazz. The New York timbale king studied with Mongo Santamaria, and, in the 1950s, he was part of Tito Puente's band. After a stint with George Shearing, Bobo joined Cal Tjader's group, where he first gained real renown. Capitalizing on his success with Tjader, Bobo struck out on his own in the '60s, and became a major Latin jazz/pop crossover star, most notably with his 1965 album, SPANISH GREASE, and the hit instrumental of the same title. Bobo succumbed to cancer at the early age of 49 in 1983.