Joe Bataan —
Salsoul ... LP Mericana, 1973. New Copy (reissue)...
A landmark album from Joe Bataan – so great, that it made the entire record company change its name! The record has Joe really bursting out after his seminal Latin Soul work of the late 60s – blending Latin rhythms and American soul into a whole new style of music – one that Joe called "Salsoul", because of it's mixture of salsa and soul! The blend is fantastic, a real milestone in the NuYorican scene – and handled perfectly by Joe on every cut! There's some massive Latin funk on here, including the tracks "Latin Strut" and "Aftershower Funk", plus some straighter Latin jazz, like "Sunny Gets Blue Mambo", and a great Latin Soul cut with English vocals called "Johnny". LP, Vinyl record album
A very well-titled set from Libre – as the group were one of the more incredible acts on the New York scene of the 70s – always a bit more underground than the salsa mainstream, and able to easily bridge so many generations with their music! Leader Manny Oquendo has a great ear for unusual sounds – and finds a way to blend contemporary jazzy currents with some deeper Afro-Cuban rhythms – with a sound that's both holding to tradition, but able to really push things forward – without some of the more reactionary tendencies found in some of his scenemates. The quality of the musicians is one of the great strengths of the record – as the set features work from Dave Valentin on flute, Jerry Gonzalez on congas and trumpet, and Papo Vasquez on trombone – under the direction of bassist Andy Gonzalez, who handles arrangements with Marty Sheller and Luis Cruz. Titles include "Tracionera", "Decidete", "Yo No Vuelvo Contigo", and "Goza La Vida". CD
A mighty set of club tunes from the legendary Candido – and proof that the congolero was still going strong at the end of the 70s! The set's got a nice stretched out feel – one that takes the fuller disco arrangements of Salsoul, and peppers them with some harder-hitting percussion work by Candido – making for a style that's surprisingly funky at times, and touched by some nice earthy percussion elements! Arrangements are by Carlos Franzetti and Joe Cain, with plenty of room for conga solos – and titles include "Candi's Funk", "Do You Wanna Dance", "Samba Funk", and "Super City". 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
The rebirth of the Afro-Cuban groove on the New York scene of the 70s – great recordings in the "new traditionalist" sound of the time! After the boom of the Latin Soul sound of the late 60s, and the rise of salsa in the early 70s, there was also a "back to basics" movement within the players of the New York Latin community – a shift that stripped down the sound, reintroduced traditional instrumentation, and worked in rhythms that might have been used on older sessions, but which were slightly updated for the newer recordings. The work of that period, although strong, has often been overlooked in favor of some of the flashier sounds of the scene – and this set wonderfully corrects that fault by bringing together a great sampling of work from the traditional spectrum of the Salsoul and SAR record labels, along with the kind of notes and commitment to quality that makes the Honest Jon's reissues so great! Titles include "Son Sabroson" by Rey Roig, "Chuchillo Para La Pina Cubana" by Charlie Rodriguez, "Chocolate En C7" and "Trumpet En Montuno" by Chocolate, "Oriente" and "Tiene Sabor" by Henry Fiol, "Yo Perdi El Corazon" by Lita Branda, "Camina Y Ven Pa La Loma" by Roberto Torres, "Celosa" by Angelo Y Su Conjunto Modelo, and "Los Dos Hermanos" by Los Jimaguas. LP, Vinyl record album
One of the most obscure albums ever from Machito – and also one of the best! This lesser-known 70s record was cut for Salsoul during the earliest days of the label, and although its title names the singer Graciela – one of Machito's frequent musical partners – Machito himself also sings a bit too, over grooves that are wonderfully tight, and maybe even sharper than the early days! The arrangements are what really make the record great – and have this way of holding onto all the best elements of Machito's roots, while focusing on some hipper edges that give the record a slightly more modern vibe – although never in a salsa-styled way. Chico O'Farrill, Joe Madera, and Frankie Colon handled the charts – and titles include "Masacote", "Como Quieras", "Chango Ta Beni", "Dale Jamon A La Jeva", "Buena Noche Che Che", and "Rumbantela". CD
Johnny Zamot —
Zamot ... CD Mericana/Octave (Japan), 1974. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Quite an obscure little set by Johnny Zamot – the man who's best known for his boogaloo records of the 60s, but who was still grooving hard in the 70s! This set was a one-off date that Johnny recorded for Salsoul – in a tight mode that's mostly salsa-based, with lead vocals by Manny Roman on most tracks – who gives the record a soaring, soulful vibe that really reflects Johnny's new groove at the time! And while most titles might be more straight Latin than Zamot in the 60s, there's still lots of heavy percussion – and the album's got a great version of "Soul Makossa" – one that takes the Afro-funk classic and gives it a sweet Latin groove, with loads of bass at the bottom! Other tracks include "Oh Vida", "No Me Digas", "La China", "Aguadila", "Me Dejaron Flores", and "Con Mi Negrita De Mano". CD