25 November 2007

HERBIE MANN - BIG BOSS MANN













Herbie Mann for Columbia from 1970.
Keeping it latin but big band afro cuban stylee.
Arranged by Oliver Nelson and featuring such luminaries as Monguito,Potato Valdez,Chick Corea,Dave Pike,Jimmy Heath and Carmell Jones this is a stonking lp.
Slamming versions of "Jungle Fantasy","Manteca"and "Ave Maria Morena" make it another album that easily hits the "All Killer No Filler" category.
Highly Recommended.
Ripped @320 from the original vinyl-No reissues in any format

23 November 2007

PUERTO RICAN ALL STARS FEATURING KAKO























Puerto-Rican All Stars featuring Kako for Alegre from 1963.

Heavy weight descarga session produced by Al Santiago with the great timbalero ,percussionist and some time vocalist Kako directing and joining the 5 man Puerto-Rican percussion section .Charlie Palmieri and Chivirico are both in there on Coro and vocals too and the whole thing swings like a mutha! TOUGH !

A popular timbalero, bandleader, and occasional label executive for Alegre Records, Kako recorded as a leader only sparingly, but contributed much to the development of Latin music from his debut in the 1950s to the end of the century. Born Francisco Bastar in San Juan's Barrio Obrero, Kako worked as a dancer early on and began playing percussion -- including timbales, conga, and bongo -- for bands led by Arsenio Rodriguez, Tito Puente, and Mongo Santamaria. He recorded a single for the SMC label in the late '50s, and soon after began an association with the new Alegre imprint. Founded by Al Santiago, the label hired Kako for A&R and management work; he also played on the label's early recordings by Mon Rivera, Felipe Rodriguez, and Johnny Rodriguez.In 1961, Kako made his full-length debut -- on Alegre, natch -- with Kako Y Su Combo, Vol. 1, the first in a series. He also debuted with a new house band, organized by Charlie Palmieri and named the Alegre All Stars. In 1964, the collective appeared under Kako's own leadership -- with Palmieri, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Louie Ramirez, and Joe Quijano, among others -- for Tributo a Noro Morales, a tribute to the popular '40s bandleader and close personal friend. That same year, Alegre debuted another all-star band with the LP Puerto Rico All Stars Featuring Kako, recorded in Puerto Rico two years earlier. During the late '60s, Kako also appeared on the third and fourth LPs from the Alegre All Stars, then moved to Musicor for 1968's excellent Live It Up, recorded with Camilo Azuquita. He also worked as part of the Salsa All Stars (with many of his old Alegre friends) and the Cesta All Stars (organized around Joe Quijano's Cesta Records), then released one last LP under his own name, 1976's Union Dinamica. Though Kako also recorded one year later for an Alegre All Stars anniversary LP, he didn't appear on any dates after the early '80s. He continued playing, however, and organized a band with his son, percussionist Richie Bastar, during the '90s. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide

Ripped @320 from the japanese vinyl reissue by Blues Interactions.

21 November 2007

BOBBY MATOS AND THE COMBO CONQUISTADORES - MY LATIN SOUL














Bobby Matos for Philips from 1968.
I first heard of Bobby Matos on a Chris Bangs tape (Salsa de Bangs/Mambo de Bangs)way back in about 1981-Mambo Maxims and Tema De Alma Latina were two of the killer cuts on a phenomenal C90 comp which set me off on a lifetime of latin lp buying.Bangs was just so far ahead of his time along with Paul Murphy-they blazed a trail that G. Peterson was to ride in on at the start of his djing career.
Anyway I digress-My Latin Soul was always a Big Bucks lp over the years and then I finally snagged one when good ol' Ubiquity reissued it.And now that's been deleted too!But it really is a fuckin' bomb -Joe Cain on production duties and a dynamite set which runs from Mambos to Boogaloos,its all here and its all good.
Highly Recommended.
Here's a short bio from amg:
Percussionist Bobby Matos is one of the most highly respected drummers in the entire Afro-Cuban/Latin jazz genre. Born in the Bronx, New York City, on July 24, 1941, Matos came from a musical family, but was more interested initially in dancing than playing an instrument. Matos didn't begin to take drumming seriously until his late teens, while also learning how to play conga in the basements of churches in Harlem, as he looked up to such artists as Tito Puente for inspiration. It was around this time that Matos joined his first band, Los Congueros, comprised solely of conga, flute, and bass. By the late '60s, Matos had graduated to bandleader (just as the salsa movement began to gain full steam), resulting in one of his best-known songs, "My Latin Soul," produced by Joe Cain, a respected figure in Latin jazz. But instead of continuing on as bandleader, Matos decided to focus strictly on his percussion, as he worked as a sideman for the next two decades. By the '80s, Matos had relocated to California and began to record new material. In the '90s, he issued albums on a regular basis: 1993's Collage Afro Cuban Jazz, 1995's Chango Dance, 1996's Footprints, 1997's My Latin Soul, 1998's Sessions (a compilation of some sessions Matos played on over a 14-year period), 1999's Live at M.O.C.A., and 2001's Mambo Jazz, the latter of which was a collaboration with fellow jazz drummer John Santos. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide
Ripped @320 from the Ubiquity vinyl reissue-now deleted.

20 November 2007

RAICES




















Raices for Nemperor from 1975.
A fantastic piece of obscure latin recorded in Miami and produced by Bruce Botnick(who had previously produced both The Doors and MC5 !!!)
Ace latin percussionist Sammy Figueroa was behind this project after his first professional experience came at the age of 18 with the band of bassist Bobby Valentin. During that time he co-founded this innovative fusion Brazilian/Latin group with Rafael Cruz, which broke ground for many of today’s bands.
A near perfect blend of both Puerto Rican and Brazilian influences which moves from 100mph latin flyers to funky breaks this is another post worthy of the accolade :
All Killer,No Filler !!!
Highly Recommended.
No reissues in any format-ripped from the original vinyl @320

19 November 2007

RAY BARRETTO - HARD HANDS
























Ray Barretto for Fania from 1968.

Dusty Groove:
Killer stuff all around! This album's a monster -- one of Ray's greatest, with the same sort of Latin Soul groove heard famously on his classic Acid LP. The record has Ray cutting across many genres -- blending Latin, soul, jazz, and a slight bit of funk -- all into a set of grooves that never stops pleasing, and which will make you start digging through the Latin racks like mad, just to find another LP this great! Titles include "Hard Hands", "Abidjan", "Got to Have You", "New York Soul", and the fantastic track "Love Beads", which has a cool rolling piano line that sounds like a great De La Soul sample. It's a great track, and makes the entire album worth the price!
amg:
A 1968 album with Barretto in midst of his most productive period. He had made inroads into pop and jazz markets and was a dominant figure on the Latin jazz and salsa circuit. The album not only provided the great conga player and percussionist with a nickname, it yielded hit single "Abidjan" and also brought personnel changes. Joseph Roman replaced Rene Lopez on trumpet (he'd been drafted), and Tony Fuentes joined the group on bongos.
Boogaloo, funk and soul are the main components of this Latin jam session, the sequel to ACID, released in 1968. Barretto had come up as a conguero, working for Tito Puente and others but went solo after he had a hit with "El Watusi." Perhaps because of the strong R&B component in his music, the vocals are in English, which obviously would give it a broader appeal in New York's radio airwaves of the time, particularly among the African-American community. The title cut refers to the thundering power of Ray's conga-playing, and is followed by "Abidjan," a tribute to the Ivorian capital. Bobby Valentin lays down a pattern on the bass and the great Orestes Vilato (still ripping it up today with John Santos' Machete Ensemble) shows why every timbales player in the world studied him. The tune starts as a mozambique, segues into a mambo during Vilato's solo and them ends as a bembé, a West African rhythm. Vilato also gets to showboat during "Son con cuero," where the vocalist exclaims, "Vilato has outdone himself! He's knocked it out to China!" The move is from son montuno to up-tempo guaracha during "Mi ritmo te llama." The vocals are by Adalberto Santiago and corista Jimmy Sabater yells "Salsa!" which, the excellent new liner notes by Bobby Sanabria suggest, is the first time the word was used in this context. Also present, Louis Crúz, a superb pianist who flits between jazz and soul riffs, and contributed arrangements to the session. (review by Muzikifan)
Ripped @320 from the remastered cd reissue.

EDDIE PALMIERI - LA PERFECTA

















Eddie Palmieri
for Alegre from 1962.
Palmieri's first album produced by the mighty Al Santiago in which,although much in the style of the day-pachangas,danzons,guajiraa-you can hear the roots of the modal experimentalism that was to come in the future with almost half of the opening "Conmigo" turned over to a Palmieri piano solo.

John Bush for AMG:
One of the best albums released by one of Palmieri's best bands, La Perfecta features 12 crisp, uptempo songs ranging from guajiras to pachangas to sones montuno — with a cha-cha-cha thrown in for good measure. Palmieri sounds inspired on piano, vocalist Ismael Quintana leads the group well, and the stinging brass section includes major players like Joao Donato on trombone and Willie Matos on trumpet. La Perfecta is an excellent example of early Latin dance before Western fusion became the name of the game.
George Castro Flute Mike Collazo Percussion Chivirico Davila Choir, Chorus
Al Dirisi Trumpet João Donato Trombone Louise Hilton Graphic Design George Maysonet Percussion Manny Oquendo Percussion Charlie Palmieri Percussion Eddie Palmieri Piano, Leader Chickie Perez Percussion Ismael Quintana Vocals Joe Rivera Bass Barry Rogers Trombone Al Santiago Producer Willie Torres Choir, Chorus Dave Tucker Trumpet Victor Velazquez Choir, Chorus Harold Wegbreit Trumpet

TITO PUENTE - VAYA PUENTE













Tito Puente for Tico from 1962.
Yet another great album of afro cuban bangers from the maestro.
Thom Jurek wrote this for amg in his usual style of "i wonder why i bother scribbling this crap for a living " and quite frankly,Thom,so do we:
A Tico CD reissue of an album originally released in 1962. In typical fashion for the label, there are no credits, just a brief liner note talking about how great Puente is and how on this album he runs through all of the popular Latin dances and introduces a new one that will be with us "forever": the sambaroco, or samba mambo (try saying that ten times quickly). When was the last time you did the sambaroco? As for the rest there are couple of Puente classics, such as "Mambo Gil," "Solange" (a bolero), "Yimbarco" (a montuno), and the great bembe number "Agua-Nile." There are 12 tracks included, and it's an awesome disc to use for Latin dance instruction, though Puente keeps the tempos flying high. As with other early Puente recordings issued on Tico, the sound is thin and muddy in places, more like a bootleg than an authentic remastered version of the CD; perhaps they took the masters from vinyl copies, but it doesn't say that anywhere. Oh well, you'll either dig these sounds for their steamy insistence of the dance being the very thing of love and life or you'll look for better sound somewhere else.
Ripped from the now deleted cd @320.

15 November 2007

EL REZA























Heads up y'all - Reza's back with a Greek Fusion bomb from Gus Vali.So get over there learn to Belly Dance and much,much more.
It's all good - check it out here.
And shut that bloody Bouzouki up!

11 November 2007

SAHIB SHIHAB - COMPANIONSHIP














Sahib Shihab for Vogue - the third and last time of posting.
I have had a number of requests for this since some asshole took the trouble to get my original files deleted.I finally got round to ripping it again but this time @320.This rip is also free of background noise which plagued my original vinyl share-take it from me,never buy an audio cd recorder!!!
Two files - HERE and HERE.

Here's a real rarity and my number one desert island disc - it's this little beauty on German Vogue from Sahib Shihab.This also contains my favourite tune "Om Mani Padme Hum" penned by the wonderful Francy Boland.This double album has it all from frantic banging percussive workouts to modal numbers to beautiful ballads,all performed by Francy,Kenny Clarke,Jimmy Woode,Fats Sadi,Benny Bailey,Ake Persson and even Milt Jackson on vocal on one track.It's a staggeringly good piece of music and worth every penny of the HUGE price tag it commands.

10 November 2007

KENNY BARRON - SUNSET TO DAWN
















Kenny Barron
for Muse from 1973.
Dusty Groove:
One of the series of very, very excellent soul jazz albums Barron cut for Muse in the early and mid 70s, with Kenny playing mostly electric piano. The vibe is spacious and totally grooving throughout, even on the more swing based bop numbers, and Barron gets complementary backing by Bob Cranshaw on bass, Freddy Waits on drums, Warren Smith on vibes, and Richard Landrum on percussion for a hornless but very full sounding group. The set includes the great groover "Swamp Demon" and the very well-sampled "Sunset", plus "Al-Kifha", "Delores St S.F.", and "Dawn".
320 rip from the deleted 32jazz cd reissue

9 November 2007

CHARLES EARLAND - INTENSITY





















Charles Earland for Prestige from 1972.
The mighty burner with a mighty banger!!!
Dusty Groove:
A wonderfully-named session -- as Charles Earland plays here with an intensity that's undeniable! The album marks a key shift for Earland -- one away from the more standard soul jazz mode, into a realm of looser, freer rhythms that really take off from the start -- knowing no end on the longer tunes, and really letting Charles run to the skies on the keys of the Hammond! The group on the set is a larger than usual one -- with a trumpet section that includes Lee Morgan and Virgil Jones; reed players that include Billy Harper and Hubert Laws; and a double-edged rhythm line forged through the drums of Billy Cobham and the conga of Sonny Morgan -- often working alongside each other to really widen the groove! The sound is remarkable -- tight, but never slick -- and in a sophisticated groove that could hardly be hinted at from Earland's earlier work.
Alex Henderson @AMG :
Even if the performances on Intensity weren't excellent, this Charles Earland session would be required listening for jazz historians because it marked the last recorded documentation of Lee Morgan. Only two days after Intensity was recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's famous New Jersey studio on February 17, 1972, the influential trumpeter was shot and killed by a girlfriend at the age of 33. Refusing to confine himself to hard bop, Morgan was exploring soul-jazz and fusion during the last years of his life -- and his enthusiasm for soul-jazz is hard to miss on Earland's funky "'Cause I Love Her" as well as inventive interpretations of Chicago's "Happy 'Cause I'm Goin' Home" and the Shirelles' "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow."
32o rip of the original lp format

7 November 2007

CHARLES EARLAND - PLEASANT AFTERNOON





















Charles Earland for Muse from 1978.
Houston Person Producer, Sax Grady Tate Drums Ralph Dorsey Congas Percussion Charles Earland Vocals, Organ Melvin Sparks Guitar Bill Hardman Trumpet
Engineer Rudy Van Gelder
Yes this is the one with the monster jazz dance banger "Murilley" on it-enough said!!!
Ripped @320 from the original vinyl-no reissues.

Thanks to all of you who provided the cover image- and biggest thanks to Rich for the image used !!!
Thanks as well for the jap nu jazz links but had 'em already thanks to my old mate jazz-neko who has been hanging with the manager of Jabberloop-what a guy !

4 November 2007

OCTETO DE CESAR CAMARGO MARIANO




















Cesar Mariano Octet for RGE from 1966.

Dusty Groove:
Excellent early bossa work from pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano! Cesar's probably best known for his funky fusion work of the late 70s, and for his accompaniment of Elis Regina on some of her classic Philips sides in the same decade -- but back at the time of this recording, he was leading a tight little jazz combo filled with fire and life. Cesar's in the lead on piano, and the record's got some wailing solos on sax, guitar, and trombone -- grooving hard in a crack bossa jazz mode, and standing out as one of the best examples of the style from the time!

Slipcue.com:
Straightforward hard-bop jazz, with some Brazilian asides... Most of the tunes are original compositions, with additional songs from the likes of Luiz Bonfa, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Marcos Valle, along with an oldie by Ary Barroso and a kitschy Henry Mancini tune, "Champagne And Quail." The octet -- which included pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano, along with drummer Airto Moreira and bassist Humberto Clayber (of the Sambalanco Trio) -- plays with the most force and conviction on Camargo Mariano's original songs; the other performances sound like a rehash of cabaret shows. However, it should be said that these recordings are miles beyond many of the contemporary Brazilian jazz recordings, in terms of the music's texture and coloration... Breaking away from the standard trio size that defined the bossa-jazz scene, Camargo Mariano prized out much more harmonic depth and subtlety. Worth checking out, if you're delving into the Brazilian jazz scene.

Ripped @320 from the Prestigio cd reissue from 2005.

RUBENS BASSINI E OS II MAGNIFICOS- RITMO FANTASTICO


















Rubens Bassini for Pawal,Brazil from 1960.

Whatmusic.com reissued this about 5 years ago-here's some info about it from them:

Some years ago whatmusic.com was at the home of a Brasilian record collector when he pulled out a well-worn copy of a record that previously we’d only heard about on record lists – one of those mythical £500 records – Rubens Bassini e Os 11 Magníficos. The cover featured that well-known grin from the Sergio Mendes sideman Bassini and the tracklist promised some unusual latin grooves.
Despite the popular misconception of Brasilian music as ‘Latin’ most of what we have come to associate with Brasil – bossa nova, samba, MPB – are purely Brasilian art forms, in which the bongos have little or no place. Bongos are not an instrument traditionally associated with samba but rather with Afro-Cuban music forms. However, pick up any Brasilian LP from the late 50s/early 60s and, if it was recorded in Rio, chances are you’ll find that Rubens Bassini was playing the bongos.
In the fifties in Brasil (aside from the lush big band stylings of Ary Barroso and the slow samba-canção ballads) samba was generally a dirty word. Most popular music fell into two categories – ‘bolero’ or ‘fox’. Both foreign forms, the bolero covered a multitude of Afro-Cuban inspired rhythms and the ubiquitous ‘fox’ was the Brasilian interpretation of anything considered to be ‘American’ music or that which was written in 4/4 time (the samba being in 2/4).
Part of the confusion about the ‘Latinness’ of Brasilian music comes from the fact that the pre-bossa generation were completely besotted by the jazz and popular music coming out of the United States. Young musicians like Johnny Alf, Paulo Moura, Bebeto, Luiz Eça and Joao Donato spent their days listening to Howard Rumsey’s All Stars, Dizzy Gillespie with Machito and most particularly Stan Kenton’s Orchestras, with their modern harmonies and unusual time signatures, and their nights in local clubs forging a new Brasilian interpretation of the sounds they heard. Kenton was a key influence and albums such as ‘Cuban Fire’ left an indelible mark on these young musicians. Kenton was amongst the first to employ a real Brasilian musician, the guitar virtuoso Laurindo Almeida. In the case of Rubens Bassini that main influence came from the Cuban exile Mongo Santamaria who was recording regularly on the San Francisco-based Fantasy label.
The influence of America was partly due to a lack of ‘modern’ Brasilian influences. Some of the earliest recordings of the young 50s modernists were made on the cusp of the bossa nova era. João Gilberto’s seminal ‘Chega de Saudade’ had been released in 1958 (featuring Bassini himself on bongos as part of the four man percussion team that Gilberto demanded) and Jobim already had some success under his belt, but the softly played rhythms that became synonymous with bossa nova were still in their infancy. Waltel Branco, Jose Marinho and João Donato all recorded mambo-influenced jazz on the LP ‘Dance Conosco’. Organists Walter Wanderley and Ed Lincoln had also played samba-canção alongside Latin beats and ‘foxes’ and in 1961 Philips A&R man Aloysio de Oliveira convinced the very young (and serious jazzman) Sergio Mendes to record a record for ‘the kids to dance to’. The result was a not very danceable, but very excellent, LP called ‘Dance Moderno’. The record featured a hip young mod couple on the cover, versions of ‘Love For Sale’ and other standards and lots of Rubens Bassini bongos well up in the mix. With the rise of bossa nova it seemed everyone was recording in the rush to cash in on the ‘new thing’ but the jazz guys were still sneaking in their own Latin-inflected sounds. In the early 60s Bassini took part in the legendary Os Ipanemas session. Their CBS record, despite its very bossa nova name, was like a Brasilian heavy rhumba session, similar to Mongo’s ‘Our Man In Havana’ LP but with ‘candomblé’ chants replacing those of ‘santeria’.
Meanwhile, in the US, after playing at the legendary Carnegie Hall Bossa Nova show Sergio Mendes and his group had stayed on, determined to find a niche in the US market. Mendes worked with various different styles until hitting upon the idea of a frontline female vocal duo of Lani Hall and sex bomb Karen Philippe. As part of the exciting new Brasil 66 Rubens Bassini was back in the line up of a group which would go on to sell incredible numbers of records worldwide and take Brasilian pop music to heights never before, or since, reached. In 1968 Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 headlined at the Chicago Opera House. For the Brasilians the highlight of the show was the band that opened for them. That same Stan Kenton Orchestra that the young musicians had so worshipped a decade or so before.
Along with many local jazz musicians who gravitated towards the Hollywood studios at the end of the 60s, so many of the itinerant Brasilians, no doubt fed up with endless life on the road, also began to collect in Los Angeles. From the early 70s onwards, Bassini became a fixture in the West Coast session scene. As ubiquitous as Victor Feldman or Ralph Macdonald, Bassini’s list of credits is immense (Spyro Gyra, Michael Franks, Luiz Bonfá, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Gap Mangione, Average White Band, Dave Grusin – the list is endless) as well as recording with more studio-bound Brasil 77 and 88 incarnations.
It’s forty years after its first limited release and sadly Rubens isn’t around to finally see it, but ‘Ritmo Fantastico’ – Rubens Bassini’s own entry into the land of mambo jazz bossa, is reissued here for a new generation of fans of a Latin groove that could only come from Brasil; spiced with Bassini’s patented bongo virtuosity.

Reissued on cd in 2002-still pretty widely available.As for the original vinyl-about £500+ !!!
Ripped @320 from the cd reissue.