Really wonderful music from this sublime Brazilian pair – a duo who just get better and better with each new album, and who really take off here in the context of some beautiful larger arrangements! As with most of the best contemporary sounds we've heard from Brazil in recent years, the style here is beyond category or definition – a subtle, yet complex blend of organic roots, elements of jazz and bossa, and the kind of visionary musical constructions you'd hear in the most sublime 70s landmarks of MPB – but served up here with a gentle approach that somehow makes the whole thing even more marvelous and mystical! Added strings and acoustic instrumentation slide in gracefully, and mix with some slight acoustic bits – and the vocals of Celso Fonseca are a delight throughout. Titles include "Flor Da Noite", "Paradiso", "Candeerio", "Denise Bandeira", "Ela Vai Pro Mar", and "Alma De Pierro". CD
(Out of print.)
Celso Fonseca & Ronaldo Bastos —
Paradiso ... CD Dubas/Bomba (Japan), 1997. New Copy ...
The lovely precursor to Fonseca and Bastos' Slow Motion Bossa Nova set – and a record that's done with a very similar feel! Fonseca's vocals and guitar really dominate the record – flowing out in warm, mellow lines that have a sparkling bossa finish! Some tracks have light strings that shade the tunes in slightly, making for a feel that's a bit fuller, but which still retains the intimate sound of Fonseca's voice and guitar. The album's dedicated to Nara Leao, and has a sound that's definitely in the spirit of her classic work – and titles include "Quanto Tempo", "Out Of The Blues", "Flor Da Noite", "Polaroides", "Voce Nao Sacou", "Paradiso", and "Alma De Pierro". CD
Roberto Fonseca —
Yo ... CD Montuno, 2013. Used ...
Samba jazz, but lots more too – a set that's got plenty of dark edges amidst the warmer rhythms – which makes for one of the most compelling albums we've heard so far from drummer Duduka Da Fonseca! The group's a quintet, with some especially nice work on tenor from Anat Cohen – whose tone really helps flesh out the sound of the record, and bring in a strong sense of depth – amidst some lighter sounds from Guilherme Monteiro on guitar and Helio Alves on piano. Lenoardo Cioglia rounds out the combo on bass – and titles include "O Guarana", "The Peacocks", "Rancho Das Nuvens", "Sabor Carioca", "Depois Da Chuva", and "Melancia". CD
Cuba descara – played American style! The set's a killer bit of Latin jazz from the New York scene of the 60s – a really brilliant effort headed up by Osvaldo Chihuahua Martinez – who plays both timbale and guiro – in a crack lineup that also features Chocolate Armenteros on trumpet, Chombo Silva on tenor sax, Manfredo Lee on guiro, and Dick Meldonial on flute – all players that get plenty of space to show off their talents here – especially on the solo moments, which really take off from the straighter vocal passages. Percussion is tremendous too – thanks to congas from Enrique Navarro – and titles include "Oye Lo Pollo", "Chihuahua En Timbales", "Cosquilla", "El Cavallo", "Cuban Night", and "Coco De Agua". LP, Vinyl record album
(Heavy vinyl – with bonus download too!)
Orchestra Kool —
Kool Heat ... LP Fonseca/Andale, Mid 60s. New Copy (reissue)...
Excellent (and very rare) boogaloo album by Orchestra Kool! The group has a rough hewn, tightly walloping feel that we totally love – with English vocals on some tunes and Spanish on others – with killer rhythms and some jazzy reed work. The album includes lots of hard stompin' boogaloo tracks, with a great vibe, and some groovier moments – with call and response vocals that bring in a kinship to some of the raw soul of the time! The titles include "Boogaloo Baby", "Orchestra Kool", "Ritmo Kool", and "Kool Heat" – kind of giving you an idea of the sort of swingin' boogaloo sound – plus "Guapacha", "Conversar", "Tira Jala" and "Fantasy". LP, Vinyl record album
Some of Ricardo Ray's earliest work – recorded in New York in the mid 60s, after Ray had "arrived" from the Puerto Rico scene! The set's actually got a groove that points the way towards the famous Ray sound of years to come – a style that has traces of older mambo modes, but which also extends out in a bold, proud, pre-salsa style with plenty of great lead vocals from Bobby Cruz. There's some great descarga elements in the mix too – tight rhythms with loads of jazzy instrumentation that really makes the record cook. Highlights include the jazzy "El Mulatu", the slamming descarga "Viva Richie Ray", the "monkey twist" "Brother Ray", and the shing-a-ling number "Mambo Jazz"! CD
Willie Rodriguez —
Mi Montuno ... LP Fonseca/Andale, Mid 60s. New Copy (reissue)...
Willie Rodriguez at his 60s best – driving his combo with a fire and fury that few other Latin leaders could match! The grooves here are raw and tight, right from the start – a recasting of Cuban descarga modes into an even tighter combo setting – with percussion leading the way on just about every cut, topped with some sweet horn solos and vocals by a young and soulful Adalberto Santiago! The album's a real shining jewel in the early catalog of Fonseca Records – and titles include "Mi Montuno", "Mozambique", "Cimarron", "Colorin Colorado", "El Ritmo Lo Traigo Yo", and "Monte Adentro". LP, Vinyl record album
A great lost smoker from the legendary Fonseca Records – put together by a singer with Puerto Rican roots, and rich experience on the New York scene – which seems to give him an incredible ear for the hippest styles of the late 60s Latin generation! There's a wonderful sense of depth to the record – some Cuban-styled numbers next to Latin Soul swingers – all played with the kind of sharp-edged, fire-filled energy you never would have gotten on the Latin scene a few years before – that bursting of fresh vibes that sprung forth in the late 60s as the old barriers broke down. The group's got some smoking piano, heavy percussion, and a bold blend of trombones and trumpets – on titles that include "Heart Full Of Soul", "Descarga", "Jala Jala Con Mozambique", "Hommy's Guajira", and "Chiqui". LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes bonus download of the album!)
Willie Rodriguez with Leo Casino —
Heat Wave ... LP Fonseca/Andale, 1965. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
Excellent rare album from Willie Rodriguez with Leo Casino – a tight mix of Latin Soul, descarga, and salsa tracks that hit hard from the start and don't let up! Rodriguez leads a great band, and they're joined by vocalist Casino some of the tracks – with tunes that have an uncommon, heated intensity without sacrificing the groove – some of it with the feel of an after hours session full of players just hit with a mighty second wind, and others that are just straight up tirelessly driven. The whole set cooks really nicely! Titles include "Dig It", "Descarga DJ", "Pussycat Bugaloo", "Simon", A Mi Negra". "Golden Bugaloo", and "Chickie's Choice". LP, Vinyl record album
Johnny Sedes —
Mama Calunga ... LP Fonseca/Andale, Late 60s. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
A rare gem from the legendary Fonseca catalog of the 60s – a smoking set from saxophonist Johnny Sedes – a player who really gets to soar on his solos! In a world of brass-led Latin combos, Sedes horn really makes a difference – and brings a strongly jazzy sensibility to the record, with elements to rival some of the best of the Latin soul scene in Spanish Harlem – even if the album's not entirely a boogaloo set overall! The vibe is great – very soulful, either from Johnny's solos – or from the lyrics of Chivirico Davila and Leo Gonzalez – and the album's a real lost treasure from Fonseca – with tracks that include "Carupano", "Guajira Dancer", "El Manicero", "Te Vaz", "Mama Calunga", and "La Verdad". LP, Vinyl record album
No woe here at all – because the album's very upbeat, and very joyous all the way through – played in the best young combo mode of the 60s! Latin soul, jazz, and older descarga modes all come into play on the set – mixed up in the Puerto Rican groove of the Fonseca Records scene of the time – all with more grit in the grooves than any similar records on Fania or Tico! Piano and horns are often competing in the lead with runaway energy – and vocals are both in English and Spanish, which really helps create some groovy crossover modes. Titles include the choppy boogaloo number – "New Breed Bugaloo" – plus "Woe Woe Baby", "Follow The Sun", "Three In One", "Ritmo Tropical", "Dulce Son", "Quinto Bongo", and "Tenia Que Ser Asi". LP, Vinyl record album
An early cooker from the young Bobby Valentin – a record cut even before his initial outings for Fania, and done with the same trumpet-heavy groove! There's a raw crackle to the set that's mighty nice – not really Latin soul, but the kind of small combo energy you'd find in the generation just before – as on some of the best Joe Cuba Sextet sessions before his time at Tico. Bobby's trumpet has plenty of jazz inflections, and the rhythms from the group are nice and tight – great lean energy from this younger generation – on tracks that include "Para Don Jose", "Bombon", "Try Out", "Macorina", "Dejame Tranquilo", "Que Ambiente", and "Caliente". LP, Vinyl record album
New York All Stars with Orquesta Novel —
Do The Boogaloo ... LP Fonseca/Andale, Mid 60s. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
A great jammer from the 60s years on Fonseca Records – and like most of the other work on the label, a set with a slightly different feel that a lot of combos coming out of New York scene! There's definitely some of the boogaloo promised in the title, but the album also seems less strictly tied to conventions – and has no trouble stepping around a bit in style, working with some of those rougher edges and hard-driven lines that can really make Fonseca sessions great. The album's filled with great little groovers like "Descarga Novel", "Muchacha", "Do The Boogaloo", "Mambo For Naguabo", "Wish You Love", "Nocturno", and "Apetitosa". LP, Vinyl record album
A rare 80s set from Astrud Gilberto – cut at a time when she was hardly doing any new recording at all! As you'll guess from the title, the album has Gilberto teaming up with German groovemaker James Last – who handles all the orchestrations for the record, and shows a surprising sensitivity towards Astrud's bossa styles in his music. Last can sometimes be a bit over the top, but he's quite subtle here – leaving lots of room for Gilberto's sweetly sensitive vocals, and the music of her core combo, which features Romero Lubambo on guitar and Dudu Da Fonseca on percussion. Paulo Jobim guests on vocals and guitar on a few tracks – and titles include "Aqua De Beber", "Champagne & Caviar", "Samba Do Soho", and "Saci". CD
Stunning sounds from Willie Rodriguez – easily one of the hardest, heaviest leaders on the 60s scene in New York! The record is a live one, but has the focus and intensity of Willie's best studio work for Fonseca – red hot grooves that are a fusion of Willie's Puerto Rican roots with some of the best pre-salsa modes of the time – a vibe that's a lot like the Joe Cuba Sextet at their best, with blistering piano and percussion in the rhythms, and some tight trumpet soaring out over the top! There's a few mellower tracks, but most numbers are groovers – and titles include "Gua Guanco #1", "Dolor Y Pena", "La Mulata Mariana", "Dame Un Chance", "El Velorio", "Ruby", and the great "Descarga". LP, Vinyl record album