Released 1972, Fania Records
Release Date Jul 17, 2007
Producer Ray Barretto
Engineer Irv Greenbaum
Recording Time 35 minutes
Personnel Ray Barretto – congas
Orestes Vilato – timbales
Andy Gonzalez – bass
Roberto Rodriguez – trumpet
Johnny “Dandy” Rodriguez – bongos
Joseph “Papy” Roman
Louis Cruz – piano
From Dusty Groove
One of Ray Barretto’s hardest-hitting salsa albums of the 70s — a raw set of grooves that’s got Ray moving away from the playfulness of the Latin Soul years, into a more righteous mode that’s easily guessed at from the title of the set! The vibe here is very straightforward — with Ray coming down hard on conga, and working with a group that features Adalberto Santiago on lead vocals, plus Orestes Vilato on timbales, Andy Gonzalez on bass, and Luis Cruz on piano. The sound is spare and raw — and titles include the wonderfully echoey tune “O Elefante”, with some great elephant-like work on trumpet — plus “Con El Cimarron”, “Se Traba”, “Arrepientete”, and “Te Traigo Mi Son”.
Review by José A. Estévez, Jr.
Bandleader/conga player Ray Barretto continued to assert himself as one of the premier mainstream salsa catalysts of the early ’70s with one of his most celebrated albums. Barretto, bass player Andy Gonzalez, pianist/arranger Louis Cruz, timbales master Orestes Vilató, and bongo player Johnny Rodríguez contribute to the band’s tough rhythm section; of course, vocalist Adalberto Santiago is a knockout on tunes like the hilarious “Se Traba” and the memorable “Alma Con Alma.” One of Barretto’s top albums of the 1970s and another example of what made New York salsa so special.
Ray Barretto looking curiously like Al Franken….
Ray Barretto – The Message (1972) 320kbs em pee three
This pressing 2006, Hi Fly Reocrds
1 The Panther 2:29
2 Soul Fiesta 2:08
3 Africadelic 2:16
4 African Battle 3:00
5 Black Beauty 2:50
6 African Carnaval 3:16
7 Moving Waves 4:03
8 Afro-Soul 2:44
9 Oriental Sunset 1:47
10 Monkey Beat 2:42
11 Wa-Wa 3:03
12 Percussion Storm 1:54
AFRICADELIC is the classic 1973 album composed and recorded in the span of one week by Manu Dibango, after the encouraging success of his monster hit “Soul Mokossa.” Here he continues to fuse Afro-Caribbean flavors with the contemporary Latin … Full Descriptionand funk influences of the day, resulting in a highly soulful, highly danceable album.
DUSTY GROOVE says
Incredibly funky work from Manu Dibango — a set that’s easily as great as his classic Soul Makossa album — but which is a lot more obscure overall! The work’s got a fiercely-jamming quality all the way through — lots of rumbling percussion at the bottom, and also a bit of keyboards as well — served up in a heady brew that turns out to be a perfect setting for Dibango’s sharp-edged reeds! The record’s got a few especially great break tracks, but all numbers are pretty darn great too — filled with more funky changes, flaring horns, and 70s-styled grooves than you might ever hope to find in a single album! Tracks include “Black Beauty”, “Soul Fiesta”, “The Panther”, “Africadelic”, “Moving Waves”, “Afro Soul”, “Wa Wa”, “Percussion Storm”, “Monkey Beat”, and “Oriental Sunset”.
It might be an attempt to quickly cash in on the success of Soul Makossa, but it’s still an amazing record from start to finish. Enjoy!
Check out the very very nice Manu Dibango Discography over at Soundological Investigations!
The original form of this blog, at another address, was just a gratuitous forum to host streamable and downloadable files from my freeform radioshow — Flabbergasted Freeform. I took that site down, and also gave up my show in May because of other things I had going on. I occasionally fill in for other people, however, and so I bring you the most recent episode of Flabbergasted Freeform! Enjoy! (Streamable files are coming later this evening)
Flabbergasted Freeform DOWNLOADS, 11-14-08
HOUR ONE download
Flabbergasted Freeform STREAMS, 11-14-08
Alegre All-Stars – The Best of..(2005) 320kbs
Released pm Vampi-Soul, 2005
This set of music really cooks. VampiSoul is a cool label that puts out great music, but isn’t exactly known for thorough packaging or notes. The blurb below the tracklist here is literally all we get. The lineup listed on the inside of the digipack is filled with heavy hitters, but probably not playing all the same time! But, the music is fantastic and that’s what counts!!!
1. Ay Camino y Ven
2. Rareza del Siglo
3. Soy Feliz
5. Peanut Vendor
7. El Sopon
8. Sono Sono
9. Guajira en “F”
10. Clo Clo Ki-Ki-Ri-Ki
12. Los Dandies
13. Ensayo Pa’La Luna
14. Se Acabo lo Que Se Daba
The first Alegre All Stars was recorded in 1961, and it became an immediate favorite of latin oriented musicians and the so-called “super-hip”. The public did not take to it so rapidly, and it became a “sleeper”. In retrospect we must remember it was released at the time when the latin record business was geared mostly for the “le lo lai” market (a typical Puerto Rico festival). Guitar music of trios and quartets were the thing then. The latin dance music of New York was limited to the connoisseur (i.e., D.J’s, musicologists merchant marines and the Palladium crowd). Eventually it had its impact: it was loose, relaxed and it ventilated many brain cells. It blended latin and jazz, improvised yet melodically interesting because the soloists were not guessing, they were confident, they knew their horns, skins and tonsils and were playing and singing for themselves at a party. Not a recording session, a real party. Without charts, less restrictions and less organized, it was therefore freer to swing and be creative. Over the years the Alegre All Star albums have become “classics”, and this album is a compilation of their best.
Released in 1970 on EMI/Odeon
Remastered at Abby Road in 1994
Milton Nascimento tends to get a bad rap these days among music connoisseurs. Much of that is his own doing: since he became an international jazz-fusion star in the late 1970s, his records just became worse and worse. Another reason why “jazz-fusion” is often synonymous with the Devil’s work. Satan may torture music snobs with Britney Spears or Pink when they arrive in his fiery domain, but when the Prince of Darkness wants to just chill out and relax with some of his demonic underlings, he puts some jazz-fusion on the box. Trust me on this.
In a way, that all started with Milton’s first album for A&M (Courage) produced by Rudy Van Gelder and featuring Herbie Hancock, Hubert Laws, Airto, Eumir Deodato and others, but his work really becomes ‘fusion’ in his second album for A&M, recorded seven years later in L.A. and featuring Wayne Shorter, Hancock and Airto again. That record is actually not that bad in itself (it’s also not that good), but only once you’ve appreciated WHY all those American heavyweights of jazz were so interested in Milton in the first place. The key to that question lay in his records released in Brazil in the interim between 1969 and 1976. Most of that second A&M record was comprised of songs he had already recorded and released in Brazil, but with new arrangements and occasionally English lyrics. This 1970 effort is the first of the influential albums where Milton finds his voice. (The one LP between ‘Couragem’ and 1970’s Milton sees him searching for something new but artistically stumbling in the process..)
Backing him up on this record is the psychedelic/progressive band Som Imaginario, a group of musicians from the mountainous interior state of Minas Gerais. Many of these guys — Wagner Tiso, Toninha Horta, Robertinho Silva among them — would go on to be central to Milton’s ‘corner club’ band that would record the amazing “Clube da Esquina” album. This record is essentially gestating the ethereal vibe that would culminate in that landmark — rock numbers tinged with Brazilian funk; languid, pastoral pieces fringed with psychedelic flourish and soaring arrangements; at times sparse, at times grandiose; and all of it capped with Milton’s angelic voice heard here for the first time as it would come to make him famous — rooted in the Baroque gold-leafing of his church-choir boyhood, as someone once said, “In Milton’s voice, you can HEAR the mountains.” The statement is spot on. There is a melancholy in his tone and phrasing, but also a enveloping warmth, a permanence and solidity in the face of tectonic change. A nostalgia for that to which there is no returning. Saudades.
There is something unmistakable in Milton’s melodies, in the intervals he chooses to express the layered complexity. It’s this that makes his compositions immediately recognizable no matter who is performing them — case in point is Elis Regina, his most important interpreter, she recorded a ton of his songs, and all of them stand out as high points on her records. Unlike some of his contemporaries (Caetano or Gil, for example) a lot of his lyrics are really nothing special. But the vibe he and his fellow Mineiros created on these records from 1970 to 1976 was unmatched and, in my opinion, deserving of much more attention than they’ve received, overshadowed as they were by the iconic Tropicalístas based in São Paulo. Caetano Veloso remarks in his memoir Verdade tropical about a conversation he and Gilberto Gil had on the eve of their exile from Brasil, where they reflected that Milton Nascimento was the most important thing happening (after themselves, of course…) in Brasil’s musical world at the time, that he was deepening what they had begun. This may be taking too much credit for himself, as Caetano is wont to do. I think of Milton and the Clube da Esquina crowd as having been working on something different, something perhaps more ‘Pan-Latino’ in its vision, as we’ll see in his subsequent albums that I hope to share here soon. But the compliment still stands.
The songs here are not quite as developed as the ones that would come together on ‘Clube da Esquina’ but they still make for a very solid listen and one of my favorite albums from 1970 in Brasil. If the haunting ‘Durango Kid’ does not grab you, or the beautiful ‘Pai Grande’ which begins quietly enough but soon becomes nearly unhinged swell of acoustic of reverb-laden percussion, organ, recorder, and Milton’s voice rising above the din. This is probably the high point of the record for me, and hints at the experimentation that we’ll find on his Milagre Dos Peixes record a few years after this, but in a more accessible form. The album as a whole is very similar to Nelson Angelo & Joyce’s album from 1972 – very relaxed and dreamy but with more of a sense of urgency to it.
Note that tracks 10-13 are bonus tracks not on the original album.
Milton Nascimento – Milton (1970) in 320 kbs
Milton Nascimento – Milton (1970) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO.. Available as soon as I find my EAC backup. The original is locked in my bunker in the Kaymans.