A wicked album of Latin Soul tunes – recorded by Harvey Averne, one of the heaviest hitting producers of the New York scene of the late 60s! The album's one of the few that Harvey issued under his own name, and it features him on piano and vibes, working with arrangements by Marty Sheller, and a tight batch of studio players who cook up the grooves in a classic Fania/Tico style! The album's got some very groovy originals – like "The Micro Mini", "You're No Good", "My Dream", and "You Mess My Mind Up" – plus some sweet little covers, like "The Think Drink Theme", "The Word", and "Wishing & Hoping" – all of which come off like some of Willie Bobo's best work of the time! LP, Vinyl record album
Ray Barretto —
Senor 007 ... LP United Artists, 1965. New Copy (reissue)...
One of our favorite Ray Barretto albums of the 60s – a real gem from the pre-Latin Soul years! The album's a clear attempt to cash in on the cash in on the James Bond craze of the time – issued by United Artists, who were releasing the Bond films, but also had Ray under contract during the period too. But despite that simple gimmick, it's a great little set – with a quality level that goes way beyond Bond soundtracks, or the usual from Barretto at the time! The tracks are all hard and groovy, with an excellent jazz feel – and some killer arranging from Ray that's right up there with the work he did for his legendary Charanga Moderna album! You may recognize the song titles – but their versions here are superb, and the album's filled with many many wonderful moments that step out with mad rhythms and great jazzy touches. Titles include "Mister Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", "OO7", "Search For Vulcan", "Thunderball", and "Goldfinger". Nice "spy" shot of Ray on the cover, too! LP, Vinyl record album
An amazing achievement for Ruben Blades – a full suite of tracks conceived and composed by Ruben as a "disco drama" on wax! The work isn't the disco-styled album you might think from this description – and is more of a mini-opera or concept album by Blades, one that features ambitious arrangements from Louie Cruz, Marty Sheller, and Carlos Franzetti – using strings and more standard Latin backings to expand the tunes tremendously, and make the whole album work with the full drama it requires. There's a few spoken bits on the set, which give way to some great songs – and the album also has a few instrumental passages. Willie Colon produced and supervised the whole effort – and tracks on the first part include "Prologo", "Manuela", "Carmelo (part 1)", "Dejenme Reir", and "El Nascimento De Ramiro". CD
A Latin classic from the word "bang"! This album was the one that busted Joe Cuba out of the Latin ghetto – into the sound of 60s soul, early funk, and beyond. The record's a stone winner – filled with boogaloo tracks delivered by Joe's firey young sextet, a killer ensemble that was setting the Latin world on its ear at the time. The title track – "Bang Bang" – is one of those tracks that you'll recognize from a million references, but which never sounds as good as it does on this impeccable version from Joe. The whole album follows in a similar suit – blending Latin, jazz, and soul with effortless ease – shifting between English and Spanish lyrics in a genre-busting style that really captures all the freshness of the era. The whole thing's great, and titles include "Asi Soy", "Alafia", "Triste", "Mujer Divina", "Oh Yeah", "Sock It To Me", and the "Bang Bang" follow-up, "Push, Push, Push". Great, hard, and a heck of a lot of fun! CD