Clare Fischer with 2+2 Plus —
Free Fall ... LP Discovery, 1986. Near Mint- ...
Very groovy work from keyboardist Clare Fischer – a musician we first fell in love with from Cal Tjader albums in the 60s, and continued to love for his MPS Records material in the 70s! Here, Clare's working with the 2+2 vocal ensemble – a gently swinging male/female harmony group that has a similar sound to the Singers Unlimited – warm harmonies that have a sunny, breezy finish alongside Clare's keyboards and the grooves. The production of the tracks is similar to the smooth MPS mode used by that group and Fischer – and there's also electric west coast Latin backing from a Latin jazz group that features Fischer on keyboards. The sound is great if you dig Clare's later electric work – and titles include "Sextet", "Blues Bossa", "Novios", "Samba Claro", "The Quiet Side", and "Free Fall". (Jazz, Latin)LP, Vinyl record album
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
One of the grooviest groups of the Latin Soul scene – but they'd have to be, given their name! The Latin Souls are a vocal group with a really soulful feel – a great link between the earlier harmony sounds that were bubbling under in Spanish Harlem, and some of the hipper rhythms that were hitting the scene in the late 60s – particularly the two dance modes pushed strongly in the title of the record! Many of the cuts have a nicely dark undercurrent – a bit like the best work of Ralph Robles – but the harmonies give the record a somewhat more sincere feel too, with echoes of Joe Bataan in the mix. The whole thing's great – with production from Pancho Cristal that's right up there with his other great Latin sides of the 60s. Titles include "Guajira Controversial", "Que Va", "Hey Lulu!", "The Party Is Over", "Place In the Sun", "La Banda", and the slammin' "Latin Souls Descarga"! LP, Vinyl record album