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 with a bit less jamming and more focus on fitting a lot of vocals into 47 minutes.  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).

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Joe Cuba Sextet – Wanted Dead Or Alive (Bang Bang! Push Push Push!) (1966)

Joe Cuba Sextet – Wanted Dead or Alive (Bang! Bang! Push, Push, Push)
1975 Fania/Tico Repress SLP-1146, Mono mix |||  1966 (Original release)

You can’t really talk about the Latin boogaloo without mentioning the song “Bang! Bang!”. The Joe Cuba Sextet had been around the flourishing New York scene for a while by this time, and had a bunch of records under their collective belts, so you can’t exactly call this a ‘breakthrough album.’ But the song – allegedly written on the spot during a live gig – catapulted them to newfound heights of popularity. But it’s definitely not all boogaloo either on this record, and the closing tune here, Cocinando, jams for 9 minutes in what is a prescient template of the genre that would soon become known as “salsa” around the world.  This is just fun music in every way, and a great way to get your summer started if you are in the Northern Hemisphere! Continue reading

Joe Cuba – Steppin’ Out (1963, Mono)

Joe Cuba – Steppin’ Out
 Seeco SCLP 9248
Original release 1963
This pressing, late 60s / early 70s
Style: Pachanga, Mambo, Guaguancó, Cha-Cha, Bolero, Salsa

The back cover of this early Joe Cuba LP includes instructions on how to dance the ‘Wabble Cha’, a dance step I presumed they hoped would take the world by storm. There are two great vocalists on this record – Cheo Feliciano and Jimmy Sabater.  “To Be With You” would become Sabater’s trademark song.

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