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Jazz Articles about Willie Colon

Multiple Reviews

Wanted: For Being Hip—Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe and the Birth of Salsa

Read "Wanted: For Being Hip—Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe and the Birth of Salsa" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

It may require some effort to imagine that there were once no Latin Grammy awards. The albums reviewed here truly appeared in a different world. Until 1970, there was, with one brief exception, no systematic attempt to compute the size of the Latino population of the United States. The first effort did not go well. The Bureau of the Census ultimately invented the term “Hispanic," to aggregate people of different nationalities and ethnicities, although calling, for example, someone from Ecuador ...

Album Review

Héctor Lavoe: La Voz

Read "La Voz" reviewed by Rob Garratt

Craft Recordings have been on a roll of late, following 2021's excellently presented Ornette Coleman boxset, Genesis of Genius, with 2023's Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series and imminent Sonny Rollins set Go West!: The Contemporary Records Albums. So it is only natural that jazz-inclined audiophiles will start turning their attention to what other treasures the LA-based reissue specialists are digging out of the vaults. And so we arrive at Craft's new “special reissue" of salsa star ...

Album Review

Willie Colon: The Player: A Man and his Music

Read "The Player: A Man and his Music" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

This two-disc overview of the work of the trombonist, vocalist, and composer Willie Colón presents a musically convincing case that Colón was to the history of Latin music what Don Drummond was to Jamaican ska and J.J. Johnson was to jazz. If the preceding suggests a holy trinity, note that all three had a fervor frequently associated with the spiritually possessed. While many jazz fans have immersed themselves in J.J. Johnson's legacy, few know Drummond and Colón as well as ...


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