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.

A1 A La Seis 2:40
A2 To Be With You 2:47
A3 Oriente 2:51
A4 Salsa y Bembe 2:52
A5 Rosalia 2:50
A6 Callejero 2:47
B1 Que Va 2:25
B2 Como Rien 2:56
B3 Wabble-Cha 2:23
B4 Cachondea 2:56
B5 Mujer 2:34
B6 Yo Vine Pa Ver 2:10

*Note: labels say “Stereo” but all tracks are in mono.

Along with the aforementioned songs, some other standouts are Oriente, Salsa y Bembe, and Cachondea. This is prime proto-salsa, spanning the styles that would feed into that umbrella genre when it developed into a global phenomenon.  It also demonstrates what a great band the Sextette was even before their boogaloo hits propelled them into greater fame.  Any astute listener unfamiliar with Joe Cuba’s bands should immediately note the absence of a horn section: the vibraphone filled that roll, a fact which made their sound stand out.  Which, y’know, was kind of important when you have a Latin group in New York in the early 60s, which was overflowing with talented acts packing the lively club scene.

16-bit 44.1 khz


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p/w: vibes

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