A great little look at the work of percussionist Manny Oquendo and his Libre group – a crack New York ensemble from the 70s, famous for a handful of early Latin records on the Salsoul
label! Oquendo's a great leader with a real ear for jazz – and Libre balances themselves nicely between some of the return to traditional modes at the time, and the freer jazz stylings that were also showing up in 70s Latin. Players are great throughout – as the group's lineup included Milton Cardona, Dave Valentin, Papo Vasquez, and Jerry Gonzalez – working with arrangements by Marty Sheller, Luis Cruz, and Andy Gonzalez. This 11 track set brings together some of the best grooves from Libre's Salsoul
years – plus, possibly, a track or too from their 80s album on Montuno – with titles that include "Suavecito", "Goza La Vida", "Bailala Pronto", "Que Humanidad", "Por Que Tu Sufres", "Yo No Vuelvo Contigo", "Baomboleate", "Libre Y Su Son", and "Vengo Sabroso".
(Out of print.)