00:00 Broadway Orchestra – Black orpheus (Gema 1964) *
02:38 Los Galleros – Soledad (Discos Fuentes 1965)
05:29 Ricardo Ray - More Richie (Alegre 1968) *
10:03 Pedro Rodriguez & Orchestra - Barripi mompo (Sutton) *
11:22 Grupo Irakere - Chekere son (Areito 1978) *
13:26 Joey Pastrana - Cry back (Cotique) *
16:23 Pete Rodriguez y su Conjunto – Soy el rey (Alegre 1966)
18:23 Eddie Palmieri - Estamos chao (Tico)
22:22 Felix Del Rosario – Victor y Memelo (Kubaney)
26:16 Puerto Rico All-Stars - Oye lo que te conviene (Jason) *
30:41 Carmen Rivero y Linda Vera – Cumbia del monte (Caytronics)
33:50 Joe Cuba Sextet - Mujer divina (Tico 1973) *
36:49 Julio Castro & Orq. La Masacre – Dolor esquina miseria (New Generation 1979)
37:52 Ray Barretto – El diablo (Fania 1973)
42:06 La Playa Sextet - Riendo con cha cha (Embajadores)
44:26 Orchestra Harlow & Junior Gonzalez - Rio rita (Fania 1976)
46:56 Tito Puente & his Orchestra - Black brothers (Tico 1973)
49:30 Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino - Choco's guajira (Salsoul 1975)
56:15 Hector Lavoe - Periodico de ayer (Fania 1976) * Funky Bompa edits
Before you start, you might like this little teaser I did with my crappy phone camera in 2008. For an hour we were speeding through Samana, a peninsula in the North East of the Dominican Republic. It gives a truthful view of the beautiful dominican inner land.
Now imagine yourself sipping a fresh cuba libre, hanging out in the local colmado and switching channels between New York, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Republica Dominicana, Venezuela... You’re listening to Radio Transmundial, a trip through latin music
from the 60s and 70s.
This mix was put together as a sort of introduction to the different latin styles from the 60s and 70s. It takes time and homework to catch the connections and differences between every style. Characteristics like rhythmic or harmonic patterns, composition and size of the band as well as the recording time define the sound of each style and come into account when studying them.
Instead of writing everything over again, I worked on an extended tracklist, integrating comments, original liner notes and pertinent links wherever possible. Lots of valuable information is available right down the block, so feel free to dig deeper by clicking through artists and genres etc.
1) Broadway Orchestra – Black orpheus (Gema 1964)
We start off with the oldschool sound of the charanga. Charanga isn’t actually a style but defines a type of band with violins and flute. Check the liner note for a quick read about the dengue rhythm.
2) Los Galleros – Soledad (Discos Fuentes 1965) Cumbia (Colombia)
Lovely singing on the typical rhythmic pattern of the
Colombian national dance. A favorite among more killers on this sought-after
compilation LP. This record was released on the famous Colombian label Discos
3) Ricardo Ray - More Richie (Alegre 1968) EDIT Mambo (NYC/Puerto Rico)
Known as the « embajador del piano », Richie used to team up with Bobby Cruz, signing many popular hits. He was also one of the first to ever record Boogaloo. He serves us this mambo with an early salsa feel. Slightly
edited by yours truly.
4) Pedro Rodriguez & Orchestra - Barripi mompo (Sutton) EDIT Mambo (NYC)
It’s a bit confusing as there’s no bossa nova on this budget record. I’d go for a mambo here... Neither exists any info about a possible link with boogaloo composer Pete Rodriguez.
5) Grupo Irakere - Chekere son (Areito 1978) EDIT
Incredibly funky groove from the pioneering band of Chucho Valdes (piano). This Cuban band earned worldwide respect with it’s electric
fusion of traditional son, African rhythms, funk and jazz. Recently covered by Roberto Fonseca.
6) Joey Pastrana - Cry back (Cotique 1968) EDIT Latin soul (NYC)
Pastrana had his success in NYC before cutting this LP in Puerto Rico (PR). “Cry back” got this typical Latin soul sound, with the steady drums and easy pop singing. Check Pastrana’s interview here (Spanish)
7) Pete Rodriguez y su Conjunto – Soy el rey (Alegre 1966)
Descarga/Boogaloo (Puerto Rico/NYC)
Not to be confused with the salsa singer, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, Pete is by many considered the king of boogaloo. He unleashes incredible energy here, starting with a descarga and ending on a short but heavy boogaloo beat.
8) Eddie Palmieri - Estamos chao (Tico 1965) Mozambique (Puerto Rico/NYC)
A classic theme by one of my favorite pianists and arrangers. Like Dengue, Mozambique is a sub-genre of mambo, with strong congas and this early stripped down salsa feel. Love that powerful trombone-only horn section.
9) Felix Del Rosario – Victor y Memelo (Kubaney) Merengue (Dominican Republic)
It's quite hard to find merengue that doesn’t get too mellow. This one is as hard as it can get. The punchy percussion and crazy horn solo makes it a dancefloor hit. Watch out for this composer from San Francisco de Macoris, DR.
10) Puerto Rico All-Stars - Oye lo que te conviene (Jason) Salsa (Puerto Rico)
Classic salsa taken from a tribute record to Pto Rico’s repertoire. The tune was selected by Eddie Palmieri himself and features Pto Rico’s typical big band sound. Probably recorded around 76-77.
11) Carmen Rivero y Linda Vera – Cumbia del monte (Caytronics) Cumbia (Colombia)
This record was presented as a tool to promote cumbia as the new craze in the 60s I believe. Check the commercial liner notes. Both Linda Vera and Carmen Rivero really excel on this record, with a tight sound and great piano licks.
12) Joe Cuba Sextet - Mujer Divina (Tico 1973) EDIT Guajira/Son (NYC)
The guajira is characterized by it’s slow pace and minor key harmonies. Joe Cuba adds his flavor with some lovely vibes. His sextet was setting transition between the fading 50s big bands and the 60s boogaloo and salsa.
13) Julio Castro & Orquesta La Masacre – Dolor esquina miseria (New Generation 1979) EDIT Salsa (Puerto Rico)
Nervous instrumental salsa from Puerto Rico, edited into a powerful interlude. Check the interview of Julio Castro himself here. The man played with the best, but never really got big as a leader. Pop singer Tito Nieves started in his band.
14) Ray Barretto – El diablo (Fania 1973) Guajira/Son (NYC)
This LP came at a turning point in Barretto’s career as Fania’s percussion master. Some sidemen just left his band, but he rebound and made it a hit record. The sophisticated sound and jazzy solo parts in “El Diablo” still stand out today.
15) La Playa Sextet - Riendo con cha cha (Embajadores)
Cha cha (NYC)
Though La Playa Sextet is credited for this track, the liner notes are all about Charlie
Palmieri, who was hot in the 60s NYC scene. Enjoy the Playa’s distinctive guitar sound on this laid back cha cha.
16) Orchestra Harlow & Junior Gonzalez - Rio rita (Fania 1976) Salsa (NYC)
Larry Harlow is another Fania All Star. This Jewish pianist converted to latin music lays down a thrilling psychedelic salsa jam with fuzzing guitars and sudden rhythm changes. Not very common for a salsa big band on a big label.
17) Tito Puente & his Orchestra - Black
brothers (Tico 1973) Latin soul (NYC)
Tito Puente is another master percussionist and gathers an impressive catalogue. He was already singing big mambo hits in the 50s and managed to keep the pace for almost 3 decades at the time he recorded this classic tune.
19) Hector Lavoe - Periodico de ayer (Fania 1976) Salsa (NYC)
Hector Lavoe made it big in the Fania family too. This track was a major hit that still gets everybody singing along today. A lovely ballad with romantic strings and sweet horns. Willie Colon did the arrangements and made it my sweetest salsa.