Ray Barretto – Barretto Power (1972)

To make up for the somewhat uneven Fania collection from earlier today, I thought I’d make amends with this solid set from Ray Barretto. Barretto Power from 1972, with Adelberto Santiago on lead vocals. Nothing revolutionary about this record but who cares. Aside from the Nuyorican soul cuts “Right On” and “Power” — the latter serving as a somewhat lackluster conclusion in my opinion – the rest is salsa served straight-up. It’s Barretto’s band as tight as it would ever get and at the peak of his powers as a bandleader. Do you really need another reason to check it out?

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Ray Barretto – Barreto Power (1972) 192kbs
1. Oye La Noticia
2. Perla del Sur
3. Right On
4. De Que Te Quejas Tu
5. Y Dicen
6. Quitate La Mascara
7. Se Que Volveras
8. Power

Personnel: Ray Barretto (vocals, congas, background vocals); Hector Lavoe, Adalberto Santiago, Justo Betancourt, Willie Torres (vocals); Joseph “Papy” Romain, Rene Lopez, Roberto Rodriguez (trumpet); Louis Cruz (piano, celesta); Andy Gonzalez (bass guitar); Tony Fuentes (bongos, cowbells, percussion); Orestes Vilato (timbales).

Review from Get Back dot com
Back into a mostly traditional bag by 1972, Ray Barretto served notice that his was the heavyweight band in the salsa scene with this LP. Aside from the devastating three-man trumpet line ( Roberto Rodriguez , Rene Lopez , Papy Roman ) and Adalberto Santiago ‘s vocals (plus chorus), Barretto Power is entirely a rhythm-section record, lean and economical yet no less powerful for it. The compositions are mostly group originals, and range from the leader’s salsa-fied opener, “Oye la Noticia,” to Rodriguez ‘s chorus-heavy “Perla del Sur” to a pair of slightly modernized horn-led numbers, “Right On” and the closer, “Power” (the latter being Exhibit A should any listeners doubt the claim in the title). Pianist Luis Cruz contributes an affectionate yet stately ballad , “Se Que Volveras,” and the trumpets never fail to come together, even when they’re diverging along creative harmonic lines. Barretto Power isn’t a flashy record; earlier triumphs like Acid and Hard Hands earned Barretto more notices than this one ever did. Still, it’s as good a proof of Barretto ‘s strength as any record in his discography.

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