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Various Artists: Long Live Boogaloo: Rare Latin Boogaloos from Spanish Harlem 1963-'72

Chris M. Slawecki By

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Long Live Boogaloo captures rare and sometimes underground Latin boogaloo, traditional Cuban music shot up like steroids with James Brown and other hard-driving R&B sounds, which emerged from Spanish Harlem in the 1960s, compiled by producer Bobby Marin for Secret Stash.

Even if this Boogaloo can sometimes sounds anachronistic, it still sounds vibrant and alive. Ten pounds of dynamite stuffed into little more than three minutes, the hard-rocking drums in Ozzie Torrens' "Mia's Boogaloo" beat with the absolute heart of Latin boogaloo, and animate the vibes and a scorching trumpet soloist. "Funky Big Feet" by Bobby Valentin (a Latin funk legend as a solo artist and from stays with Tito Rodriguez, Ray Barretto and other legends of the genre) slips so tightly into its Latin groove that it seems impossible to resist. "Funky Shing a Ling" by guitarist-vocalist King Nando captures one of the surprisingly few attempts to graft into Latin boogaloo the electric guitar sound that was leading the 1960s rock 'n' roll charge.

"Take A Trip" by The Latin Blues Band featuring Luis Aviles rotates around a wobbly tale of copping weed and getting high in Central Park ("As long as I've got my grass / I always have myself a blast!") and thumps from the drummer's seat by renown jazz-funk boogaloo master Bernard Purdie.

Long Live Boogaloo is not entirely obscure: Willie Bobo's rollicking "Be's That Way" revisits the juicy sweets of "Watermelon Man" by Mongo Santamaria. "Boogaloo Sabroso" presents the debut of Santamaria's son Monguito Santamaria with an extended Latin bonfire stoked by thick vocal-percussion jabbering. Clattering percussion and timbales pump muscle into the rhythm of "Pete's Boogaloo," a hit for Pete Rodriguez that pre-dates his more famous "I Like It Like That." "Pretty Mama," another hurricane of percussion, piano, trumpet and rhythm, is rocked to sleep by Ray Barretto, perhaps the most recorded conguero in history, and brings the curtain down.

Long Live Boogaloo is one of the most unexpectedly best party records you'll ever hear. Purists will note that not every tune on Long Live Boogaloo is actually a boogaloo. The rest of us will be too busy shaking our shing-a-lings to care.

Track Listing: Sister Sue (Johnny Rodriguez & Angel Rene); Mia's Boogaloo (Ozzie Torrens); Funky Big Feet (Bobby Valentin); Chicken and Booze (Manny Corchado); The Boogie Man (Louie Ramirez); Take a Trip (The Latin Blues Band Featuring Luis Aviles); We Belong Together (Herbie Oliveri & The Latin Blues Band); Bataoloa Boogaloo (Bobby Quesada & His Band); Pete's Boogaloo (Pete Rodriguez); Funky Shing a Ling (King Nando); Dance the Boogaloo (Johnny Zamot); Lucy's Spanish Harlem (Louie Ramirez); Keep the Faith (Bobby Valentin); Be's That Way (Willie Bobo); Boogaloo Baby (Johnny Zamot); Ritmo Moderno (Bobby Quesada & His Band); Cookin' with A&J (Johnny Rodriguez & Angel Rene); Straw Boss (Lenni Sesar); Marilu (George Guzman); Boogaloo Sabroso (Monguito Santamaria); Lost in the Jungle (La Cucaracha Brass); Pretty Mama (Ray Barretto).

Personnel: Johnny Rodriguez & Angel Rene; Ozzie Torrens; Bobby Valentin; Manny Corchado; Louie Ramirez; The Latin Blues Band Featuring Luis Aviles; Herbie Oliveri & The Latin Blues Band; Bobby Quesada & His Band; Pete Rodriguez; King Nando; Johnny Zamot; Willie Bobo; Lenni Sesar; George Guzman; Monguito Santamaria; La Cucaracha Brass; Ray Barretto.

Title: Long Live Boogaloo: Rare Latin Boogaloos from Spanish Harlem 1963-'72 | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Secret Stash Records


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