Tito Allen almost seems to be borrowing a page from the Willie Colon book with his gangster look on the cover of this one – and in a way, the record's got the same sense of soaring energy you'd hear in Willie's best post-gangster work from this time! But thanks here are really due to Louie Ramirez, who produced and directed, and gives the record that great mix of jazz and salsa he brought to his own best work – a sound that's made especially great by the presence of alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones in the lineup next to the trumpets and trombone – inflecting the music with enough shadings of soul and color to match Tito's own expressive vocals. Arrangements are by Ramirez, Marty Sheller, and others – and titles include "El Sabio", "Vivan Tus Ojos Verdes", "Guancona", " Para Los Bravos", "Flores Blancas Y Negras", "Busca Ambiente", and "Como Tu Ninguna". CD
Cesar Ascarrunz —
Cesar 830 ... CD Flying Dutchman/BGP (UK), 1975. New Copy ....
Lost Latin funk from the Bay Area scene of the 70s – and an album that may well blow away better-known work by groups like Malo, Azteca, or El Chicano! The album's near-perfect right from the start – and brings in plenty of New York elements to the groove, thanks to the inclusion of a heady amount of jazz alongside the soul, Latin, and funk elements in the grooves! The legendary Teo Macero produced and arranged – and really takes a lot of care in the studio to focus the overall energy of the tremendous talents on the record – players who include Hadley Caliman on flute and tenor, Steve Marcus on soprano sax, Benny Velarde on timbales, and Francisco Aguabella on congas – plus the trio of Cesar, Mark Levine, and Merl Sanders on keyboards. Most numbers have this really full, flowing groove – jazzy, but with a strong emphasis on the rhythms – and often touched with some great work on guitar that echoes the Santana-inspired sound of the generation, yet never in a rock way at all. Linda Tillery sings vocals on a few numbers, but the main focus is definitely instrumental – and the whole album's great – with cuts that include "See Saw Affair", "Azucar", "Descarga", "The Devil & Montezuma", "Gotta Get Away", and "Bridges". CD
A nice jammer from the "second wind" period of CTI – and a strong return to Latin jazz for Ray! The set's a great mixture of smooth CTI electric funk and Latin-oriented grooves – and it features work by Ray on congas and percussion, plus a list of players that includes Tito Puente, Charlie Palmieri, Steve Gadd, John Tropea, Carlos Franzetti, and Willie Torres. The melds the styles beautifully – with plenty of languid, rubbery jamming with percussion that thumps just hard enough! Really kind of a stunner from '79 – one that came at welcome time for both Barretto and CTI! Includes the great electric Latin groover "Mambotango", plus "The Old Castle", "La Cuna", and a sublime vocal remake of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise"! LP, Vinyl record album
A real turning point for Joe Bataan – and the beginning of his funky Latin sound of the 70s! The album was one of the first in Joe's "Salsoul" style – a sweet blend of Latin rhythms, late 60s Latin soul influences, and some of the hipper styles bubbling through the NuYorican scene. A few cuts are in the sweet soul ballad mode of Joe's earlier years – but there's others that pick up the groove nicely, and add in some guitar and vibes for a sweet electrified groove. Includes a great remake of "Theme From Shaft", plus the two-part "I Wish You Love", "If I Were A King", "Coco E", "El Regreso", and "Charangaringa". LP, Vinyl record album
A killer album of Latin jazz tracks! This is most likely the best album that Johnny Blas has cut for the Cubop label – and it's stone solid all the way through. Johnny's playing here with his new band – and most of the tracks have a nice stripped-down lineup that features piano, conga by Blas, and a very hard-hitting trombone section, playing with a classic jazzy groove. The set's got excellent production in keeping with the usual Cubop high standards – and titles include "Our Sound", "Sobale", "Debbie's Mambo", "Sidewinder", and "King Conga". Also includes a great remake of Freddie Hubbard's classic "Little Sunflower"! LP, Vinyl record album
Incredible work by Willie Bobo – a slamming record of hard funky instrumentals, one that sounds different than any of his other albums! The record's a killer all the way through – a mixture of Latin and deep 70s funk, one of the few perfect fusions of the styles, held up beautifully all the way through the set. We've always liked Willie a lot, but honestly, we don't know how he managed to make a record this funky – but we're also not arguing, just enjoying the grooves with tremendous delight and surprise. Great all the way through, and includes the break cuts "Do What You Want to Do", "Broasted or Fried", and "Soul Foo Young" – plus a version of "Dindi", which, for some reason, Willie seemed to record every chance he got! Other titles include "Shut Up & Pay Attention", "Come Together", and "Never You Mind". LP, Vinyl record album
A key chapter in the rich long legacy of Candido on record – a set that pushes the percussion maestro strongly into the disco generation – with wonderful results that are still massively strong all these many years later! Candido had always been one of the funkiest conga players around – especially as his music moved into the 70s – but here, he really takes off with some sublime disco arrangements – full clubby grooves that are some of the best Salsoul sounds of the time, yet which still leave plenty of room for Candi's congas! The congas participate in the rhythms at every level – and often take on a nice solo spotlight too – and all tracks are nice and long, with killers that include a club remake of "Thousand Finger Man", plus "Dancin & Prancin", "Jingo", and "Rock & Shuffle". CD features a massive amount of bonus tracks – more than on the album – with gems from singles that include "Jingo (original 12" version)", "Thousand Finger Man (12" ext version)", "Jingo (Shep Pettibone mix)", "Thousand Finger Man (single)", "Jingo (single)", and "Jingo (inst)". CD
One of the grooviest early albums recorded by Candido – done way before his later funky sides, and served up with plenty of unusual touches that set it apart from the usual 50s Latin set! Candi's very much in front of the arrangements on congas – hitting hard with a percussive fury that certainly marks his space – but he's also getting wonderful support from Manny Albam on arrangements, who brings in some searing solo work from players like Nick Travis, Phil Woods, and Ernie Royal – all of whom color the sound with some strong lines on their horns. And added to this too are some sparely-used vocal bits – scatting chorus passages that are never hokey, and expand out the tunes with a finger-snapping sound that's way better than you might expect! The record's one of the most subtle "with voices" efforts we've ever heard – and we love Albam's economical use of this element alongside the stronger jazz soloists. Titles are mostly traditional numbers, but they're transformed tremendously with this sound – as you'll hear on the album's versions of "Royal Garden Blues", "King Porter Stomp", "Ja Da", "Swinging The Blues", "Sweet Sue", and "Exactly Like You". LP, Vinyl record album
(Deep groove pressing. Cover has a small split on the top seam and a partially split bottom seam, with some wear and stains on the back.)
Smoking Latin from the Peruvian scene – one of the best-remembered groovers from the nation at the time, and a set that almost rivals the best hard Latin albums New York had to offer in the 60s! The cover lists all tunes as being descargas, but there's also a distinct Latin Soul/boogaloo influence here too – not so much on the vocals, but on the instrumentation – which is filled with loads of blue notes, dark-turning corners, and the same sinister sort of sound that we love in late 60s classics on the Fania and Tico labels. Lyrics are mostly in Spanish, and instrumentation features some great vibes, ringing out strongly amidst the heavy percussion. Titles include "A La Capital", "Descarga Jala Jala", "Ahi Viene Coco", "Coco's Descarga", "Guajira Boogaloo", and "Gozando Descargas". LP, Vinyl record album
Great stuff – and a very sharp album cut by Willie during the Latin soul era, featuring a bunch of tracks that veers more towards the boogaloo side of things than his later albums! The groove is nice and hard – stripped down with the youthful energy that Willie brought to the scene at the time – and the record features great vocals by Hector Lavoe, Yayo El Indo, and Elliot Romero. Features the wonderful piano-bassed groover – "Jazzy" – which spirals out with descarga-like energy! Other great tracks include the boogaloo numbers "Skinny Papa", "Willie Baby", "Willie Whopper", and "El Malo" – but the whole album's a winner! CD
A solid 70s session from Willie Colon – a combination of a few tracks from previous efforts, mixed with other new ones, all featuring lead vocals by the wonderful Hector Lavoe! The work on the album's the kind that was so influential at the time, it's almost hard to hear how important it was from this angle – because Willie's working in a tight, hard style that so many other groups copped afterward – yet this one's still the original, and a good solid listen will remind you of the power in these grooves! Tracks include the groovy "Ah Ah/O-No", "La Banda", "Ghana'e", "Pirana", and "Abuelita". LP, Vinyl record album
A classic 70s salsa jammer from Willie Colon – working here with his best vocalist ever, Ruben Blades, back before he'd crossed over to super-huge success! The album really marked a departure for Willie – moving past the bad boy style of earlier records, that kind of "tough guy in the hood" look – into a mode that was more open to other Latin scenes, and which marked an even greater rise to Latin stardom. Titles include "Dime", "Plastico", "Buscando Guyaba", "Maria Lionza", "Ojos", and "Siembra". CD also features 5 previously unreleased bonus tracks – "Dime (take 2)", "Pedro Navaja (take 2)", "Ligia Elena (Merengue version)", "Siembra (Joe Claussell remix)", and "Plastico (inst edit)". CD
The young Joe Cuba's coming on plenty strong here – working with a stripped-down sextet that was his answer to the larger, stuffier Latin groups of the previous generation! Cuba's combo has plenty of fire right from the start – and a sublime mix of jazz and percussion that's a key link between the cubop jazz mambo years and the Latin Soul generation that Joe would ignite a few years later! Some cuts have wonderful vibes alongside the piano and percussion – and the instrumentation definitely draws inspiration from Cuban descarga styles, but hones everything down to a much sharper groove. Vocals are by Jimmy Sabater and Cheo Feliciano – in both English and Spanish –and titles include "Joe Cuba's Mambo", "Pancho Foo", "Stuff N Things", "Tremendo Coco", and "Chichon". CD
(Cover has edge wear, the remnants of two stickers, and some pen.)
Ray Barretto —
La Cuna ... CD
1981. New Copy ....
Around December 11, 2013
A nice jammer from the "second wind" period of CTI – and a strong return to Latin jazz for Ray! The set's a great mixture of smooth CTI electric funk and Latin-oriented grooves – and it features work by Ray on congas and percussion, plus a list of players that includes Tito Puente, Charlie Palmieri, Steve Gadd, John Tropea, Carlos Franzetti, and Willie Torres. The melds the styles beautifully – with plenty of languid, rubbery jamming with percussion that thumps just hard enough! Really kind of a stunner from '79 – one that came at welcome time for both Barretto and CTI! Includes the great electric Latin groover "Mambotango", plus "The Old Castle", "La Cuna", and a sublime vocal remake of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise"! CD
Willie Bobo —
Juicy ... LP Verve, 1967. Very Good+ ....
$13.99Just Sold Out!
Hard soulful Latin from the great Willie Bobo! The record's an extremely tasty blend of cuts that mix hard Latin grooving with a swinging 60s pop feel – all filtered through the crossover genius of late 60s Verve. There's lots of great boogaloo groovers, shing-a-ling rhythms, and a tight no-nonsense approach to percussion – and titles include "Shing-a-Ling Baby", "La Descarga Del Bobo", "Juicy", "Roots", and "Music To Watch Girls By". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has remnants of tape on the spine and WGN marker on back.)