Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Band – Egypt Strut (1974) (2021 RSD Strut reissue)

Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Band – Egypt Strut Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192 kHz | FLAC & mp3|  300 dpi scans | Jazz 2021 RSD Strut Records , Ltd. ed 3000 copies | Original release 1974   Original copies of this flabbergasting bit of rare groove jazz, released by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture,  change hands for thousands of dollars. It’s seen a couple of CD releases but was reissued as a double LP with extras by Strut Records … Continue reading

Celia Cruz and Willie Colón – Celia y Willie (1981) (2021 Craft Recordings)

Celia Cruz y Willie Colón – Celia y Willie Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192 kHz | FLAC  & mp3|  300 dpi scans | Latin, Salsa 2021 Craft Recordings CR00375 || RSD, limited to 2000 copies || Original release 1981 Vaya   The cover may seem to invoke the glory days of the Palladium (or perhaps even the Cotton Club), but the music on this album fits mostly comfortably with any ‘salsa dura’ recorded during the 1970’s peak of that style, albeit … Continue reading

Lonnie Smith – Think! with Lee Morgan & David Newman (1969)

Lonnie Smith Think! Original release 1969 Blue Note This 2019 reissue, Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series This week the world of music lost one of the greats of the jazz organ, “Dr.” Lonnie Smith.  I regret never having caught him live during his return to the spotlight, as he had quite the career.  He was part of a second (or third?) wave of soul-jazz organists that hit the scene in the latter half of the 1960s.

Tito Puente – The Latin World of Tito Puente (1964, Mono)

Mambos, cha chas, son montunos, pachangas, Latin jazz… Tito Puente played all of those, and he apparently never liked the catch-all term “salsa” (and he stayed out of Fania Records’ orbit, for the most part).  And he has a point – each of the sub-genres and rhythms (and there are many more than those listed here) have their own backstory and sensibility….

The Balfa Brothers Play Traditional Cajun Music (1967 Swallow Records)

The Balfa Brothers Play Traditional Cajun Music 1967 Swallow Records – LP-6011 Vinyl transcription in 24-bit 192 khz || File sets in mp3, FLAC and 24-bit FLAC I had this record ready to post here long before there was a Cat 4 hurricane bearing down on the bayou.  I’ve been rewatching some Les Blank films this summer, which may be why I felt inspired to share this gem.  The Balfa Brothers were the real deal.  If you are remotely interested … Continue reading

Luis Kalaff y Sus Alegres Dominicanos – Arriba! Santo Domingo (1970)

Luis Kalaff was one of the godfathers of merengue in the Dominican Republic.  His sound took elements of the rural, accordion-based merengue típico and combined it with the style forged by the saxophone-led, big band merengue that came into style during the years of its efflorescence under dictator Rafael Trujillo, who essentially made the style into the semi-official national genre by imposing his taste on the country’s elites (he was from the Cibao region where merengue got its start).