Arsenio Rodriguez & The Afro-Cuban Sound – Viva Arsenio! (1966) {vinyl rip}

arsenio

Released 1966 on Bang Records

The famous Cuban tres player in a post-mambo, boogalo-heavy album that seems to get better every time I listen to it. The rather goofy but fun rendition of “Hang On Sloopy” might be off-putting for some, but he follows it with one of his most popular compositions, “La Yuca.” The rest is just gold until the record stops spinning. There’s even some healthy descarga jamming on “El Elemento del Bronx.” The album is dominated by Rodriguez’s own material. The arrangements are tight, with beautiful playing and vocal work by…. by… well I have no idea who plays or sings on this, other than Arsenio. It´s a shame but the vinyl has no session information whatsoever. Aresenio’s discography is somewhat obscure to me (could it be because I am a citizen of the country that tried to destroy his through economic terrorism? hmm, could be…) , so I can’t even take a health guess as to the identity of the great female vocalist on some of these tracks. This is mostly an on-the-floor party record, but the ballad “Que No Llegue La Noche y La Pared” is a rest for your feat and a treat for your ears. Here are samples if you still aren’t convinced:

Side one:
Hang on Sloopy
La Yuca
Baila Con Migo
Que No Llegue La Noche y La Pared
La Bamba

Side two:
Tres Marias
Cielito Lindo
Para Baila El Montuno
Randy
El Elemento Del Bronx
Vaya P’al Monte

Wiki article on Arsenio –

Arsenio Rodríguez (born Ignacio Arsenio Travieso Scull, Gúira de Macurijes, 31 August 1911 – Los Angeles, 31 December 1970)[1][2] was a Cuban musician who played the tres (Cuban guitar), reorganized the conjunto and developed the son montuno, and other Afro-Cuban rhythms in the 1940s and 50s. He claimed to be the true creator of the mambo, and was an important and prolific composer who wrote nearly two hundred song lyrics.

Early life

Rodrígues was born in Güira de Macurijes in Bolondrón, Matanzas Province as the third of fifteen children, fourteen boys and one girl.[3] As a young child, Rodríguez was blinded when a horse (or a mule) kicked him in the head.

Rise to Fame

Later, he became a musician, and eventually became one of the most renowned bandleaders on the island earning him the nickname El Ciego Maravilloso (the marvellous blind man). His music emphasized Afro-Cuban rhythm as well as the melodic lead of the tres, which he played. In 1936 he played his own compositions with the Sexteto Boston, led by his cousin Jacinto Scull. This disbanded in 1937, and he joined the Septeto Bellamar of cornetist José Interián in 1938. From 1940 to 1947 he led a band in Cuba, Arsenio Rodríguez y su Conjunto.

He then went to New York where he hoped to get cured from his blindness but was told that his optic nerves had been completely destroyed. This experience led him to compose the bolero La Vida es un Sueño (Life is a dream). He went on to play with percussionist Chano Pozo and other great musical artists of what became Latin Jazz like Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, and Mario Bauza.

Arsenio’s bassist and close friend for eight years Alfonso “El Panameno” Joseph as well as other members of Arsenio’s band, such as Julian Lianos, who performed with Arsenio at the Palladium Ballroom in New York during the 1960s, have had their legacies documented in a national television production called La Epoca, expected to be released in theaters across the US in September 2008 and in Latin America in 2009. He had much success in the US and migrated there in 1952 one of the reasons being the better pay of musicians.[4]

Innovations

Rodríguez improved the sonority of the Cuban septetos by using two or three trumpets instead of one, and introduced a piano, and later a conguero (conga drummer). His bongo player played the cencerro during montunos, which raised the sound level still further.[5] These larger groups (8-12 musicians) were called conjuntos. Rodríguez also added a new repertoire and a variety of rhythms and harmonic concepts to enrich the son, the bolero, the guaracha and some fusions, such as the bolero-mambo and the bolero-son.[1] Similar changes had been made somewhat earlier by the Lecuona Cuban Boys, who (because they were mainly a touring band) had less influence in Cuba. The overall ‘feel’ of the Rodríguez conjunto was more African than other Cuban conjuntos.

Rodríguez’ claim to have invented the mambo is not really convincing, if by mambo he meant the big-band arrangements of Pérez Prado. Rodríguez was not an arranger: his lyrics and musical ideas were worked over by the group’s arranger. The compositions were published with just the minimal bass and treble piano lines. To achieve the big-band mambo such as by Prado or Tito Puente requires a full orchestration where the trumpets play counterpoint to the rhythm of the saxophones. This, a fusion of Cuban with big-band ideas, (plus some ideas derived from Stravinsky) is not found in Rodríguez, whose musical forms are set in the traditional categories of Cuban music: the bolero, the son, the guaguancó and their various fusions.[6]

Later life and death

At the end of the 1960s the mambo craze petered out, and Rodríguez continued to play in his typical style, although he did record some boogaloo numbers, without much success. As times changed, the popularity of his group declined. He tried a new start in Los Angeles. He invited Joseph to fly out to Los Angeles with him but died only a week later. Arsenio died in 1970 and his body was returned for burial to New York. There is much speculation about his financial status during his last years, but Mario Bauza denied that he died in poverty, arguing that Rodríguez had a modest income from royalties.[7]

Tributes

Of the many tributes to Arsenio Rodríguez four are of special interest. The first, in 1972, was a Larry Harlow LP Tribute to Arsenio Rodríguez, Fania 404. On this, five of the numbers had been recorded earlier by Rodriguez’ conjunto. Later, in 1994, The Cuban band Sierra Maestra recorded a CD Sierra Maestra: Dundunbanza!, World Circuit WCD 041. This had four Rodríguez numbers at full length. Jazz guitarist Marc Ribot recorded two albums made mostly of Rodríguez’ compositions or songs in his repertoire called Marc Ribot y los Cubanos Postizos and Muy Divertido!.

Arsenio Rodriguez is mentioned in a national television production called La época, about the Palladium-era in New York, and Afro-Cuban music.[1] The film discusses Arsenio’s contributions, and features some of the musicians he recorded with.[2] Others interviewed in the movie 840AM Interview include the daughter of legendary Cuban percussionist Mongo Sanatamaria – Ileana Santamaria, bongocero Luis Mangual and others.
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Technical information of vinyl transcription:

Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable / Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge / Pro-Ject Speedbox power supply -> Creek OBH-18 MM Phono Preamp -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard. Recorded at 24-bit / 96 khz resolution to Audacity. Click Repair on very light settings to remove some clicks and pops. Track splitting in Adobe Audition 3.0. Dithered to 16-bit using iZotope M-Bit noise-shaping. Converted to FLAC and mp3 using DbPoweramp. ID tags done with Foobar2000.

n 320kbs mp3

FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

Eddie Palmieri – The Sun of Latin Music (1973) 320kbs

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EDDIE PALMIERI – The Sun of Latin Music (1973) 320kbs
with Lalo Rodriguez

1 Nada de Ti Palmieri 6:31
2 Deseo Salvaje Rodriguez 3:41
3 Una Rosa Española Palmieri 5:21

4 Nunca Contigo Palmieri 3:51

5 Un Dia Bonito Palmieri 14:52

6 Mi Cumbia Palmieri 3:18
ez

Credits: Arranged By – Rene Hernandez
Bass – Eddie “Gua-Gua” Rivera*
Bongos – Tommy Lopez
Congas – Eladio Perez
Coro – Jimmy Sabater , Willie Torres
Engineer – Dave Palmer (2) , Dave Wittman , Ralph Moss
French Horn – Peter Gordon
Lead Vocals – Lalo Rodriguez
Mastered By – Al Brown (5)
Piano – Eddie Palmieri
Producer – Harvey Averne
Saxophone [Baritone], Flute – Mario Rivera (2) , Ronnie Cuber
Timbales, Percussion – Nicky Marrero
Trombone – Jose Rodriguez (3)
Trombone, Tuba [Tenor] – Barry Rogers
Trumpet – Virgil Jones
Trumpet [Lead] – Vitin Paz
Tuba – Tony Price (2)
Violin – Alfredo De La Fe

This is original album, The Sun Of Latin Music, *not* the double-CD anthology released by the revamped Fania Records. Please don’t leave a comment if all you are going to do is ask for that anthology… The sound quality on this edition (on the label `Musical Productions`) is deplorable, and there are apparently are other CD pressings out there, on Charly and Sony records. But this is the one I have, so love it or leave it.

Now that I have given you the hard sell, let me tell you that this is an essential album. It won Palmieri the first of many Grammy awards, but that’s not why it’s essential. For a guy who was always pushing boundaries during this period, this record still stands out. One thing that will immediately grab your attention is the presence of a violin on the album – not an instrument sometimes heard on salsa records but which always sounds unique to me. Alfredo de la Fe will make you forget that’s the case, as he blends seamlessly with the ensemble while adding a unique tonal edge. All of the songs are winners here, but the stand-out centerpiece is the fifteen-minute Un Dia Bonito, which took up most of the second side of the original LP. It is everything that was great about Barretto during this period — beginning with moody, ‘out’ jazz explorations, laced with psychedelic fringes (this was recorded at Electric Lady, after all), it culminates in a smoking descarga jam that, well, leaves you rather short of air. The Sun of Latin music, indeed.

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Eddie Palmieri & Cal Tjader – Bamboleate (1967) 320 kbs

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CD (Fania / Emusica – Remastered Edition 130 217), Released 1967; Re-Issued 2007

This record smokes like a chimney. There really isn’t anything I could add to the review from John Childs at descarga dot net, so here it is

Produced by Pancho Cristal

In about 1965, Cal Tjader showed up in New York where he saw Eddie Palmieri and his Conjunto La Perfecta performing at the Cheetah club. Cal proposed to Eddie that they record together: “Give me your band, the whole shit.” A deal was struck between Morris Levy of Tico Records (Eddie’s label) and Creed Taylor of MGM/Verve (Cal’s) that they do an exchange of artists. The sublime results were El Sonido Nuevo / The New Soul Sound (Verve, 1966) and Bamboleate (Tico, 1967), the second regarded by many as among Tjader’s best, La Perfecta lending a harder edge to his usual work. “The key was Bobby Rodríguez, the greatest Latin bass player we ever had,” said Eddie in 1999. “The band was at its peak.” Bobby solos on “Mi Montuno” which he co-wrote with Eddie. Neither the original vinyl release of Bamboleate nor this reissue credit the sidemen, but in addition to Bobby it’s unmistakably Ismael “Pat” Quintana’s voice providing chorus vocals. Pat calls out the name of Barry (Rogers) during his trombone solo at the beginning of the title track. Though on re-listening to the album after so long, surprisingly to me, is that the voice of Willie Torres calling out “Kako, Kako. A comer” at the opening of the timbales solo on the same track? Other suspects must surely include percussionist Manny Oquendo and Mark Weinstein (who wrote one track) on trombone. A stone classic.
Very Highly Recommended. (John Child, 2007-04-14)

Song titles include:
Bamboleate 3:23
We’ve Loved Before 2:28
Resemblance 5:38
Mi Montuno 5:21
Samba Do Suenho 3:51
Guajira Candela 3:46
Pancho’s Seis Por Ocho 5:36
Come And Get It 3:03
Musicians include:
Eddie Palmieri Piano
Cal Tjader Vibes
Bobby Rodríguez Bass
Barry Rogers, Mark Weinstein Trombones
Ismael Quintana Vocals
…others

Ray Barretto – The Message (1972) 320kbs

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Ray Barretto
“The Message”
Released 1972, Fania Records
Release Date Jul 17, 2007
Studio/Live Studio
Mono/Stereo Stereo
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
Rene Lopez
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.

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Ray Barretto looking curiously like Al Franken….

Ray Barretto – The Message (1972) 320kbs em pee three

Alegre All-Stars – Best of The Alegre All-Stars (2005) 320kbs


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
4. Almendra
5. Peanut Vendor
6. Consulelate
7. El Sopon
8. Sono Sono
9. Guajira en “F”
10. Clo Clo Ki-Ki-Ri-Ki
11. Manteca
12. Los Dandies
13. Ensayo Pa’La Luna
14. Se Acabo lo Que Se Daba

“Product Description”
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.

 

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Fania All Stars – Live at the Cheetah (1972) VBR

We seem to be stuck in 1972. Not a bad place to be, especially New York in 1972. Fania has since reissued this as separate volumes like the original LP releases with remastered sound, but I’ve found most remasters to be dubiously “improved” so I’m happy to stick with this 2-CD collection which may or may not have had access to the original master tapes. Anyone with an opinion of comparison on the sound feel free to leave a comment. This famous night at The Cheetah Club was also filmed for the Nuestra Cosa movie, a DVD of which was released a few years back but is currently caught up in litigation over a licensing dispute with Fania and no longer being manufactured. The All Stars were renowned for putting on bigger and more ambitious shows as time went on, eventually filling Yankee Stadium. They could be accused of often having just too many damn people on the stage by the end of all this, and unfortunately they would end up recording really awful ‘crossover’ records of disco–jazz-salsa fusion like “Rhythm Machine” and, um, “Crossover”. I have the former but you would be hard-pressed to convince me to share it here, you would have to bake cookies or something — it’s really, really unlistenable, and I’ve been told Crossover is even worse. So let us remember the Fania All Stars when they were still lean and hungry in this relatively small venue, packing the Cheetah Club with this amazing lineup. By most accounts this is the best of the bunch of the All Stars records, and my only complaint is that the long jams and audience reactions invite the listener to imagine the visual component of what’s happening on stage that must be equally compelling — so let’s hope Fania comes to some kind of settlement (with the Vampisoul label, who seem to have issued ‘Our Latin Thing’ without proper licensing) and puts that film back in circulation! In the meantime, there is always YouTube

FANIA ALL STARS
Live at The Cheetah (1972)VBR 224/kbs

CD1
1 Introduction Theme (Pacheco) 5:24
2 Descarga Fania (Barretto) 9:23
3 Anacaona Alonso (7:13)
4 Quitate Tu (Pacheco, Valentin) 16:42

CD2
1 Ahora Vengo Yo (Cruz, Ray) 9:44
2 Estrellas de Fania (Alonso, Pacheco) 7:25
3 Que Barbaridad (Miranda) 6:09
4 Ponte Duro (Pacheco) 9:04
5 Macho Cimarron (Pacheco) 12:13
6 Closing Theme (Pacheco) 1:55

In an AMG review, Janet Rosen wrote:

Recorded live at New York’s premier discotheque with the usual, stellar All-Stars lineup, the groove is incessant, the mood exultant, and the players palpably happy with the audience and themselves as they exchange licks. The tunes are a bit long — “Quitate Tu,” the closer, is a 16-minute jam session in which the band members one by one contribute lyrics, to the delight of the audience. Ray Barretto’s “Descarga Fania” features a lovely piano break and some inspiredly raucous horn playing (a nice contrast to the tightly arranged horn charts one usually hears), and Cheo Feliciano’s lead vocal on “Anacaona” soars. 24 years later, still the first salsa recording to reach for; ultimate party music played by the masters.

From Descarga dot com

Editor’s Pick:
**Classics Revisited**
The first salsa records I acquired were by the Fania All Stars, and among the first handful of their albums I purchased were Live At The Cheetah, Vols. 1 & 2 (1971), Live At Yankee Stadium, Vols. 1 & 2 (1975) and Live (1978). They blew me away and fueled a passion to dig deeper into the Fania catalogue and its history. Among the items I have collected is a 1973 account of the early years of the Fania All Stars by Fania Records co-founder Jerry Masucci, in which he said the following about the Cheetah gig: “We held the concert on a Thursday night (26 August 1971). The Cheetah held 2000 people and no one thought we would sellout. But the night of the concert 4000 people squeezed into the Cheetah and the lines outside stretched around the block. Volumes 1 and 2 of Live At The Cheetah, which were recorded that night, became the biggest selling Latin albums ever produced by one group from one concert.” The Cheetah concert was filmed and formed the backbone of the electrifying documentary Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa), which premiered in New York on 19 July 1972 and played a key role in launching salsa on the worldwide stage.
Very Highly Recommended. (John Child, 2006-06-05)

Musicians include:
Ray Barretto, Willie Colon
Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco
Roberto Roena,Bobby Valentin
Santos Colon, Hector Lavoe
Ismael Miranda, Pete Rodriguez
Adalberto Santiago, Renaldo Jorge
Roberto Rodriguez, Barry Rogers
Larry Spencer, Yomo Toro
Orestes Vilato,Hector Zarzuela