31 March 2010


Wali and The Afro Caravan for Solid State from 1970.
Congas, Bongos, Vocals - Wali King / Congas - Robert Moore / Flute - Ray Lewis / Recorder [Tenor, Alto]- Jim Murray ,Vocals / Bass- Ronald Nance

All Killer No Filler Afro Jazz Percussion bomb via Texas from Wali King and the Afro Caravan.
Here's an excellent piece on this wonderful lp from Sonobeat Records:

In the mid '60s, the Afro-Caravan, formed and lead by 22-year-old Wali King, brought a new kind of percussion-based jazz to Central Texas. As comfortable and accepted at Austin's downtown hippy haven, the Vulcan Gas Company, as at the predominantly Black Austin east-side nightclub, The Afro, the hip ethnic jazz group garnered a following that crossed age and racial lines. Sonobeat's relationship with the Afro-Caravan began in August 1968, after Sonobeat Records owners Bill Josey Sr. and Rim Kelley (Bill Jr.) heard the group perform at the Vulcan.
The Austin-based Afro-Caravan were Wali King (congas and bongos), Robert Moore (percussion), J. Murray (tenor and alto recorders), Ronald Nance (bass violin), and Ray Lewis (flute). The group eventually took the name Wali and the Afro-Caravan. The combination of instrumentation, rhythm, and melodies were, as producers Bill Josey Sr. and Rim Kelley wrote in their liner notes for the Afro-Caravan's 1969 album, "rhythmic -- romantic -- thrilling -- appealing -- satisfying."
Work on the first album, Home Lost and Found (The Natural Sound), began in fall '68 at Sonobeat's Western Hills Drive studio in northwest Austin. Sonobeat released a limited non-commercial vinyl advance pressing of the album early in 1969. The "white jacket" release was intended primarily to attract a sale of the masters to a national label, which finally came in fall '69, almost a year after the album had been recorded. Liberty/UA Records -- which had purchased Johnny Winter's The Progressive Blues Experiment album from Sonobeat in '68 -- bought the Afro-Caravan album master. Sonobeat retained rights to the single, since neither of the songs on the single appeared on the album. Early in '70, Liberty/UA released Home Lost and Found on its Solid State jazz label. The album featured a highly stylized double-fold jacket with photography by L'Azul and Renate Taylor. Interestingly, the Solid State album cover shows the silhouettes of 6 performers, but the Afro-Caravan was a quintet.
Home Lost and Found was recorded on Sonobeat's Scully 280 4-track recorder in the spacious den at the Josey family home. The sessions -- which spanned several evenings -- yielded seven tracks, ranging in length from 4 minutes to over 11 minutes, the longer songs giving the Afro-Caravan plenty of room to stretch musically. Five songs were Afro-Caravan originals. The album received -- and, although out of print, even today receives -- excellent reviews, and Wali's arrangement of the traditional Hail to the King is considered an Afro-jazz classic. The album remains vital and musically relevant in the 21st century, validating the adage "everything old is new again."

25 March 2010


Tito Puente for Tico from 1969.
More Puente and as one recent comment here so accurately opined "Never enough Tito!"
Here's our man at the tail end of the sixties looking cool as ever skipping across the Brooklyn Bridge with the obligatory bit of skirt in tow.
"Fancy Feet" comes on like a latin Amphonic Music Library tune with the "In" sound of the sixties."Fuego Flamenco" kicks us into more familiar territory with an Iberian styled latin jazz bomb , Machito joins the party on "Congo Mulense" while "TP On The Bridge" is a mad mix of more In sound and Boogaloo.
Crazy Baby!!!

21 March 2010


Eddie Montalvo & Charlie Santiago for Latin Percussion Ventures from 1978.
Eddie Montalvo & Charlie Santiago - Conga, Timbales,Bongo;Gilbert Colon - Electric Piano;Jose Santiago - Bass

The mighty Martin Cohen produced and master minded this stripped down set of tracks that was issued primarily as a percussion instruction album but it works well as a raw Latin jazz session as well.The 4 cuts on side 1 feature a complex rhythm section with solos while on side 2 they are repeated minus solos for the listener to practice and play against.Great stuff for latin beatheads and burgeoning percussionists alike.The album also features the old Ballroom banger "El Bollinski En D7".

17 March 2010


Tito Puente for Tico from 1964.
Mid 60s Tito in full effect with that raw Tico sound produced by Teddy Reig.Plenty of mambos,guaguagancos,cha chas and another cracking latin jazz killer cut in "Flamenco Mood".

13 March 2010


Al Escobar for Cadence from 1958.
Pete Candoli-Trumpet;Marvin Brown-Trumpet;Joe Dolny-Trumpet;Johnny Audino-Trumpet;Bob Eneveldson-Trombone;Herby Harper-Trombone;Dave Well-Trombone;Gene Sherry-French Horn;Dick Houlgate-Baritone;Herby Steward-Alto;Fred Provincio-Bass;Modesto Duran-Conga;Johnny Cheda-Vocal;Pollito Caserin-Vocal.

First time out in blogland for this very rare slice of vinyl from Escobar stuffed full of mambos and featuring one frantic banger in the shape of "Johnny's Special" - what a killer cut!


Salsa All Stars for Salsa Records from 1968.
Charlie Palmieri - Piano ; Cachao Lopez - Bass ; Kako - Timbales ; Puchi Boulong, Victor Paz, Dave Gonzalez, Lionel Sanchez - Trumpets ; Mario Rivera, Richie Meza, Morty Lazzar - Saxophones ; Pupi Legarretta - Flute ; Louie Ramirez, Frankie Malabe, Johnny 'Dandy' Rodriguez, Tito Jimenez, Cortijito, Pedro Perdomo, Chickie Perez - Percussion ; Azuquita, Chamaco Ramirez - Vocals ; Hector La Voe, Yayo El Indio, Santos Colon, Chivirico Davila - Coros

Super heavy descarga session produced and directed by Al Santiago(who else?)which is essentially The Alegre All Stars working under the Salsa All Stars moniker for Mary Lou International's Salsa division after Santiago's Alegre label went bust.
Two monster long descarga jams on this one "Descarga De Cueros Y Vientos" and "Descarga En K" which are supplemented by 3 more straight ahead salsa cuts.


Joe Cain for Time Records from 1960.
Jerome Richardson-Flute,Saxes ; Clark Terry-Trumpet ; Jimmy Nottingham-Trumpet ; Frank Anderson-Piano,Organ ; Herbie Lovelle-Drums ; Jose Mangual-Bongos ; Chocolate-Congas ; Marcelino Valdes-Timbales ; Cachao-Bass ; Los Gatos-Chorus.

Big all star line up for this monster latin jazz session produced, arranged and conducted by Joe Cain.Raw as hell with the energy crackling from the wax this is one of the really great latin lps of the 60s.Mambo Stomp,Wobble,Afro Montuno,Mad Mambo...it's all here and its all good.
From the incredible Rhumba Jazz of "Que Paso" to the storming Afro-Mambo "Kenyatta" this album will slay you from start to finish.
All Killer No Filler.

2 March 2010


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 !