The sounds that were emerging were a mixture of latin beats and soul music, utilising English vocals and incredible dance rhythms. It picked up various names, the most prevalent of which were latin boogaloo or latin soul. Puerto Rican-born Bobby Valentin was the first of Fania's roster to represent the new sound. Moving to New York in he had landed his professional break a couple of years later as a trumpeter in Joe Quijano's band.
He became known for playing trumpet but he had also taught himself to play bass, finding employment as a bassist in Ray Barretto's group. In , as a trumpeter, he formed his own group and recorded an album for Fonseca before signing to Fania. More importantly, it featured a couple of boogaloo tracks. His first two albums were good but it is 'Use It Before You Use It' from his third, 'Let's Turn On - Arrebatarnos', that is now incredibly sought after, having become an anthem on the northern soul scene.
In , Valentin moved to Puerto Rico and switched from trumpet to bass, the instrument on which he would become a salsa star in the decade that followed. If Harlow and Valentin heralded a new age for the label, the signings of confirmed it.
Buoyed by the uplift in sales caused by the boogaloo craze, Fania signed two of the hottest young names on the block. The most immediately successful was Joe Bataan. Born Bataan Nitollano, he grew up in Spanish Harlem and was in his own words "a neighbourhood tough guy" who, by the late '50s, was leading a neighbourhood gang called The Dragons. After a spell in prison he turned his life towards music, starting off on piano but moving to vocals when his Spanish vocalist couldn't handle the English lyrics required by latin soul.
Fania snapped him up from under the noses of several labels and he became an immediate hit with his group's hard-hitting music and Joe's distinctive and, at times, fragile lead vocal. In the midst of these was his astounding tale of a journey through New York, 'Subway Joe'. From the percussive handclaps to the rhythmic horn blasts, this perennial favourite simply oozes with the heat, tension and underlying aggression of the Big Apple.
The signing of conga legend Ray Barretto was a marker that, if the label had yet to arrive, it was certainly well on its way. Barretto was older than everyone else on the label including Pacheco and had scored a national pop hit with 'El Watusi', a charanga that, in its rhythm, seemed to preface the boogaloo craze. That hit had been on Tico and Barretto had then signed to United Artists who had hoped to score further hits.
By his last album for the label, he was recording boogaloos and the group that he assembled for his first Fania album was perfectly suited to mix jazz, soul and Afro-Cuban rhythms in a way that was beyond most others.
The resultant 'Acid' is nothing short of a masterpiece, eight tracks long and brilliant throughout. The group was anchored by Ray and propelled by Louie Cruz on piano for the soul-based numbers, including 'Mercy Mercy Baby'. Vocalist on the track, Pete Bonet, boasted an incredible voice - his solo album on Swinger is well worth searching out. If signing two stars wasn't enough, the next act through the door provided two for Fania.
Born in , he had been brought up by his grandmother who had bought him his first trumpet, although by the time he began playing live, he had switched to valve trombone. Together and apart, the pair would become Fania's biggest and most enduring stars. They debuted together on 'El Malo' and the following year released 'The Hustler'. The titles and covers of both point to the gangster image that Colon would use to define himself as a streetwise player. Our first number from Willie is the instrumental title track to 'The Hustler', which showcases his vibrant trombone and the incredible piano playing of Markolino Dimond.
This song, adapted from a Ghanaian nursery rhyme, became a massive hit across Latin America and the Caribbean, confirming Willie and Hector's status as superstars. As the '60s came to a close, boogaloo ran out of steam for a variety of reasons. Old-school latin promoters may have been reasserting their dominance, but the philosophy of the era was changing, as ethnic communities began reclaiming their own heritage.
So, the language and rhythms of the islands became important and, whilst most of the New York-based perpetrators of the music had their own personal roots in Puerto Rico, it was the rhythms of Cuba that were becoming dominant, although still fed through with the influences of New York. As Johnny Pacheco told author Mary Kent in her seminal book 'Salsa Talks', "We took the Cuban music and, since we grew up in New York and had jazz influences, we modernised certain chords… And the rhythm section is more pronounced when we perform… We play for dancers and that's what gives us the percussion sound".
A track like 'Abran Paso' by Larry Harlow demonstrates the emergence of this new salsa sound. The form is Cuban but the accents on the horns are straight from the big city and the vocals are in Spanish.
Harlow had recruited the vocalist Ismael Miranda as an 18 year-old in and the pair were, in the words of Miranda, "a perfect combination". They would make seven albums together before going their separate ways in the early '70s. It failed in its aim but may have achieved the groundwork to help Ralfi Pagan score a hit in with a cover of Bread's 'Make It With You'.
In , the International label was set up for artists from outside of the United States, eventually covering artists from across the latin diaspora, but its earliest signing would be its mainstay. Puerto Rican-based percussionist Roberto Roena had his musical breakthrough in the band of Cortijo before moving on to join El Gran Combo in the early '60s.
Their debut album featured 'Consolacion' and, due to its US influences, seems to be as much a salsa record as anything recorded in New York at the time. The most successful label set up by Masucci was Vaya which acted as alternative outlet for salsa from the main Fania line and, although it would soon have its own roster of stars, musically, all of them could just have easily appeared on the main imprint.
He then suffered personal problems that saw him retreat to Puerto Rico before being persuaded by various friends to get back into the business, whereupon he signed with Fania. The possessor of a voice as rich and smooth as a good dark coffee, Cheo also had the timing of the finest jazz singer and, on 'Anacaona', a salsa standard written by his friend Tito Curet Alonso, he weaves his way through an arrangement dominated by the incredible vibes playing of Louie Ramirez.
Fania was on the verge of a breakthrough, marked over the following years by a series of concerts given by the label's super-group, The Fania All Stars.
In latin music, the all-star group was something of a tradition - Al Santiago had released a series of records by the Alegre All Stars in the early '60s and, over the years, records had appeared by the Questa and the Tico All Stars. Masucci had launched the Fania All Stars in with a show at the Red Garter featuring the acts signed to the label at the time and some special guests such as Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri whom he managed to persuade to turn up.
It was an act of bravado and he pulled it off but the label was, at the time, far too small for it to be meaningful. By the next Fania All Stars concert, his label had established itself and its acts were stars. He took over a downtown club called the Cheetah and used the performance of the Fania All Stars as the centrepiece of the film he was making, 'Our Latin Thing'.
The line-up included virtually all of the label's acts although the soulful Joe Bataan and Ralfi Pagan appear to have been deliberately excluded under the musical direction of Johnny Pacheco and the music was perfect. Every number was a hit and the albums that were recorded from the evening's performance established the Fania All Stars as the label's flagship act.
Masucci would organise bigger shows including legendary nights at the Yankee Stadium and the All Stars debut in Puerto Rico at the Roberto Clemente Stadium in San Juan but musically the Cheetah shows were perhaps the greatest.
Sell This Version. Silent Heart Single 2 versions. Vaya Records , Vaya Records. Latin Soul Tapes. Stereo 8. Fania Records , Latin Soul Tapes. Ismael Miranda Con Orchestra Harlow. Inca Records. Tico Records. Heavy Smokin' Album 2 versions. Fania Records , Discos Melser. Fania Records , Fania Records. VIDEO ". The Second Disc. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file.
Download as PDF Printable version. Please try again later. Verified Purchase. SALSA, great album. I never really gave too much thought to Salsa music over the years. It always appeared to be kind of cheesy from a great distance, but as my music world began to expand and as I began to appreciate many forms of Latin music, I learned that Salsa was one of those rich cultural subsets of music that bloomed outside the mainstream.
Now all that I needed was to find a good introduction into the music. Fania Records in the 60's and 70's was to Salsa music what Chess was to Blues, Blue Note to Jazz and Motown and Stax were to Soul, the label that was home to the biggest names of the genre, and of very constant quality. This compilation is ground zero to begin exploring and enjoying the fruits of the Salsa explosion of that bygone era.
Most of the big names of the music are represented here by great cuts, with famous names like Celia Cruz, Rueben Blades and Ray Baretto rubbing shoulders with lesser know, but still great talents like Hector Lavoe, Orchestra Harlow and Joe Bataan. This is a great collection that provides a great introduction to a very vital music.
Every cut is solid and as I have found, can lead to deeper treasures while investigating various artists back catalogs. Five stars, without reservation! See all reviews from the United States. Top international reviews. Translate all reviews to English. Un Lp que deberian tener todos los amantes de la buena salsa, con un sonido y temas bestiales.
Para disfrutar con amig s. Thank you for your feedback. Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.Audio CD, March 29, $ — $ Audio CD $ 1 Used El Cantante Pedro Navaja Every cut is solid and as I have found, can lead to deeper treasures while investigating various artists back catalogs. FANIA RECORDS provides not only an essential history lesson, but an instant party. Five stars, without /5(5).