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.  Remastered by Kevin Gray and released by Craft Recordings for Record Store Day in a limited run, the sound is pretty amazing. The repertoire also includes a merengue, a style Celia had enjoyed singing since her days in Sonora Matancera, as well as one of the Baden Powell / Vinicius de Moraes “Afro-sambas”, Berimbau, with Spanish lyrics added by T.Curet Alonso.  This was not the first time Willie Colon had salsa-fied bossa nova either, if you look through his back catalog you can find quite a few other examples. You might think salsa versions of bossa nova are by definition fundamentally tweaking the essence of the bossa nova, and you would not be wrong, but I still enjoy the hell out of hearing them.  “Cucurucucú Paloma“, the classic Mexican huapango, also gets spiced up in a version that is probably 180-degrees opposite the version Caetano Veloso did for that Aldomovar film.   Some of the newer compositions here deal with the experience of Latinx immigration into the United States: Latinos en Estados Unidos is a bit corny, but Come Down To Miami is at least a groover.  The album closes with a Johnny Pacheco original, Hay Que Recordar.  The late Pacheco was from the Dominican Republic, and merengue features a prominent accordion to hearken back to the older, rustic típica style.  Closing on that note is a bit awkward, though, as it throws into sharp relief that the source material on this album just is not as strong as the more famous, monumental and epoch-defining Celia / Fania collaboration from 1974, Celia & Johnny.   But that is setting a really high bar, and considered on its own this is a pretty solid record by masters of their craft.

1 Mi Caso
2 Cucurucucu Paloma
3 Ya Lo Puedes Decir
4 Latinos En Estados Unidos
5 Berimbau
6 Dos Jueyes
7 Kirimbambara
8 Come Down To Miami
9 Apaga La Luz
10 Hay Que Recordar

Notes
RSD June 2021 release.
Limited to 2000 copies

LINEAGE: 2021 RSD Craft Recordings CR00375 vinyl;  Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica Signet TK7E cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest Black Mamba and Pangea Premier interconnect cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; ClickRepair stereo->mono, output monitored manually; further clicks and pops removed manually with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

Folder for all of it

Password: vibes

 

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