LOUIE RAMIREZ - A DIFFERENT SHADE OF BLACK
Louie Ramirez for Cotique from 1976.
Drums - Bernard Purdy /Guitar - Cornel Dupree /Congas - Arthur Jenkins /Percussion - Johnny Rodriguez /Piano - Paul Griffin /Saxophone - Bob Porcelli /Vibraphone, Timbales - Louie Ramirez / Bass - Gordon Edwards , Rasan Jemmott Mfalme , William Salter /Backing Vocals - Erik Alexander , Liz Lampert , Susan Skye
Louie Ramirez was way ahead of his time as always when he pulled together this masterful blend of latin, funk and disco for Cotique (a subsidiary of Fania)in 1976.Check out the line up - Dupree,Edwards and Jenkins of session supergroup Stuff with Purdy keeping it in the pocket and Ramirez and Rodriguez holding down the latin side of things. Mix these elements with loads of strings, hissing high hat, some girlie backing vocals and a bit of 70s cheese and you have a monster latin disco set with two stand out dancefloor bombs:
"Barrio Nuevo" does it for me every time with the intro timbale roll sliding into a not quite cha cha cha of guiro, vibes and strings which breaks out into mambo / mozambique styled sections for vibes and rhodes solo spots - it's all about the tension and release.
"Do It Any Way You Wanna" is the Peoples Choice tune -I lifted this excellent write up from Larry of the great Funky16corners :
His [Ramirez] version of ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’ passes the original version and leaves it in the dust. The Ramirez take on the tune has a much more aggressive tempo and an absolutely dynamic arrangement. The opening shock of strings, giving way to the drum breakdown, then on to the familiar riff really grabs your ears in a way that the People’s Choice version never really achieves. It’s really mind blowing when you place the versions side by side, that the Louie Ramirez record, with its amazing blend of latin, funk and disco wasn’t a hit.
All Killer No Filler !