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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

give me FANIA or give me death!

ultimately this cd was critical in confirming to me the importance of the fania record label.. i had seen the movie salsa at the smithsonian (faithful blog readers will know what i'm talking about) and by happenstance i picked this cd up which was recorded during the first stages of the fania all stars back in around 1968.... in any case its footstomping salsa..... hard core.....this is fania all stars vol. 2 recorded live at the red garter.. the band's leader is introduced by fania all star label co-founder johnny pacheco...ray barretto the master conga maestro (mr. hard hands!)... who says a few words... hector lavoe sings a couple of tracks... obviously this is a criminally poor fania reissue .. these cds are hard to come by! and i wonder if now that the fania catalog got sold off for a measly 9 million to some no name miami based company things will improve.. i'm skeptical..which is criminal as this is the blue note blue chip catalog of latin music... also on this according to the cover art are tito puente and eddie palmieri (who coincidentally is playing the blues alley here in dc later this year)....but of course one can't tell where they are playing as there are zero absolutely zero zilch liner notes.. we are not even told the date of the recording.. on the back it says 1972 but i know it was far ealier... in any case my favorite salsa singer hector lavoe kills on a few tracks...the first track "son cuero y boogaloo" is great as is charlie palmieri's "kikapoo joy juice" (which lavoe sings).. red garter strut is pretty funky...its all full of great percussion and congas all over the place.. you can't help but shake to this stuff....the slower tune includes is "and if this world were mine" a strange cover of a marvin gaye song which initially seems like the odd man out on this but will eventually win you over upon repeated listening! anyways i love this cd and can't wait to get more of this stuff this year.. but like i say its real tough to find it.. and original pressings on vinyl? fuggedaboutit! as i read somewhere on the web: these were major party records and very few made it unscathed...the cd was produced by fania impresario jerry masucci whose estate was recently sold (did he pass away recently?) including the aforementioned fania catalog....why blue note or emi or some major label did not want to invest a measly drop in the bucket 9 million for this stuff is beyond me! oh the catalog number is FACD 364..... fania begins at 325 in the first half of the 60s and goes all the way to the 600s but quality drops after the high 400s.....

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