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Hip Spanic AllStars: Old School Revolution

Walter Atkins By

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The San Francisco based Hip Spanic AllStars' new album Old School Revolution (Hip Spanic Records, 2018), celebrates their long history and friendships born and enriched in the City's Mission District. This is their first CD release since 2015's JazzyAfroLatinFunk (CheeseBurger Records, 2015).

HSA features a robust three-piece horn section and three different vocalists bringing their individual styles and flavor to the date. Everything is firmly held down by the versatile rhythm section on full display through out the disc. "Salsero," dedicated to salsa dancers, opens up the set. Among the many strong tunes on the album, the hip dance anthem "Party In The Mission" is a funky, rocking Latin tribute to San Francisco's historic Mission District with catchy lyrics and blistering horn solos. This caliente hot composition also includes some Sly and the Family Stone references.

Castro's vocals on "In My 64" are smooth and the cool track has a nod to War's "All Day Music." "Shake It" is exactly what it sounds like—music to move your booty to. Sanchez's "Welcome Back" is a snap shot crystalizing the enthusiasm and energy of a man who "saw the light" and is immediately heading back home to the barrio after the warden just signed his release papers. This track's searing guitar solo hits home. The danceable ballad "This World Is Made For Lovers" asks the burning question: where is this relationship going? Other songs included here are, "The Funky Cha-Cha," "All Aboard The Groove Train," "La Boa," "Radio Conga" and a Latin rock tinged cover of the Tommy James 1969 mellow hit, "Crystal Blue Persuasion."

Happily, you don't have to be from San Francisco's Mission District to party hardy and enjoy the Hip Spanic AllStars' Old School Revolution. (It doesn't hurt if you lived on Valencia Street either). If you like your dance music with sturdy, funky picante beats, then HSA will easily get the house on its collective feet. The CD also has a respectful dedication to the late band member and brother Mic Gillette (Tower of Power, Tortilla Soup, Sons of Champlin, Cold Blood) who passed over in 2016.

The Hip Spanic AllStars' Old School Revolution provides a soulful Afro Latin beat for a new generation. According to the liner notes, the band is, "Celebrating the spirit of the Mission District." They do it in grand style year round.

Track Listing: Salsero; Party In The Mission; In My 64; Shake It; Welcome Back; This World Is Made For Lovers; Bacuna Wow Wow Wow; All Aboard The Groove Train; The Funky Cha-Cha; La Boa; Crystal Blue Persuasion; Radio Conga.

Personnel: Happy Sanchez: vocals, bass; Victor Castro: vocals; Gordon Ramos: vocals; Nobert Stachel: baritone tenor & alto saxophones; Karl Perazzo: congos, timbales; Andrew Stern: guitar; Dave Shul: guitar; Jay Lane: drums; Frank Navarro: bass; Ruben Sandoval: trombone; Phil Adams: trumpet; Bob Crawford: piano, clavinet; Tony Stead: Hammond B3 organ, accordion; Kike Padilla: conga solo; Ricky Encarnacion: bass.

Title: Old School Revolution | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Hip Spanic Records

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