15 Essentials From Johnny Pacheco and Fania Records, the ‘Motown of Salsa’
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15 Essentials From Johnny Pacheco and Fania Records, the ‘Motown of Salsa’

In many important ways, Johnny Pacheco’s life told a typical New York Latino story: He was a Dominican immigrant playing Cuban music to a mostly Puerto Rican audience. Like many self-proclaimed New York entrepreneurs, he knew he had to hit the pavement with his product and get to know his customers face to face, driving around Harlem and the Bronx. Sell ​​records out of the trunk of the old Mercedes-Benz.

Pacheco was working in many forms of the son The style of the Bronx nightclub Triton is making a name for itself, according to the book by scholar Juan FloresSalsa rising, “Adding a hope and sparking a laugh while dancing on stage in a brand new style called Pachang. Was dreaming of starting her own record company (and in the midst of finishing a wedding ), He met Jerry Masuki, an Italian-American divorce lawyer who loved Cuba for his love. The two hit it off so well that they started a new record label they called Fania, which Salsa Became the home of the greatest talents of.

Pacheco and Masuki’s experiment surpassed their wildest dreams. Changing the word “salsa” to the Capitol, which appeared years ago in Cuba and Venezuela, Fennia Records called the Afro-Latin craze Bugalu (idea:I like that“) An international dance with Cuban relics exploded from the post-revolution radio silence to create a dance frenzy. Cuban diva Celia Cruz, making Puerto Ricans stars like Willie Cologne and Hector Laway, a Brooklyn Jew named Larry Harlow, And a Panamanian tribdor named Ruben Blades, Phenia Records spread new Latin grooves Yankee Stadium From Kinshasa, Zaire.

Here are 15 examples of how Pacheco, who died this week at 85, and his Fania Kohart made music history.

From his second album, “Johnny Pacheco y Su Charanga, ” It is a riveting distillery of Pucheco’s early Pachang sound, with the full influence of the Cuban stage-style orchestra, which is heavy on flute and violin. The tireless embrace of percussive lyrics, which tells the story of the woman who kills the percussion girl Means for the satisfaction of the narrator. If you can see Pacheco going down at a fast pace, then you are seeing the creation of a New York-style salsa dance.

Pacheco’s collaboration with undergarment vocalist Pete “El Conade” Rodriguez (not to be mistaken for Bugloo’s Pete Rodriguez) marks a more polished phase of his career. Proposed by Gagunko Rhythm, which would become Salsa’s go-to template, Rodriguez’s knuckle, velvet juice, recalled Afro-Puerto Rican peers such as Ismail Rivera and Cheo Feliciano. Pacheco arrangements were rapidly forming an easy flow between the piano and the horns. Salsa Sound.

The coordination of Pacheco and Maisuki of the Fania All-Stars, an unimaginably powerful group of rising stars of the genre, was perhaps the single-most important factor in the rise of salsa. This recording at the Cheetah Club, which hosted Bugyal as well as the first production of “Bal” ever Prior to its Broadway run, “Anakaona”, such as a tribute to a rebellious female Taino leader, with a powerful vocals by Cheo Feliciano, a lengthy tribute to Willie Cologne, Larry Harlow and many others supported by Ray Breto.

Celia Cruz was already a star with Sonora Matanquera when she left Cuba in 1960, replacing Lito in 1966 as Leito’s lead singer. His collaboration with Pacheco on “Celia & Johnny”. It was the key to motivating her to be recognized as the queen of salsa. Pacheco’s precise pacing and soaring wall of sound made this Guagano a dizzy, onomatopoietic accent of dizzying instruments.

Possibly the most beloved and talented singer of salsa, Héctor Lavoe was in many ways the epitome of the New York Puerto Rican experience. His voluptuous, nasal vocal style bred a country boy and lost himself together and partyed in the hell out of the big city. Written by Pacheco, the emotional power of “Mr. Gant” is derived from the ability to bring New York’s diverse Latino community together to celebrate a dynamic self-awareness amid a grinding financial crisis. Studio version is very good but “Live at Yankee Stadium” version Is classic.

Born and raised in Mott Haven’s gritty in the Bronx, Willie Colon recorded his first album at the age of 17, inspired by a sour, fake tone that Barry Rogers collaborated with Mon Rivera and Eddie Palmieri for their trombone Gave in Although there are a lot of Bugaloo here, this proto-salsa has been taken away. Cologne’s role in inventing Salsa’s approach through the “Malo” personality is evident here, with songs emphasizing the authenticity of Spanish-speaking, Latin-dance filtered through a gangster-style, street-fighting gesture went.

This low-budget 70s film directed by Leon Gast has a sense of grainy motherhood that allows for later films like Charlie Ahorn’s hip-hop origin story “Wild Style”. And Glenn O’Brien’s reconstructed post-punk fever dream “Downtown 81.”. ” The best visual record for the Fania All-Stars rehearsal, club jigsaw, impromutu bumblebees and street festival performances, it also reflects the African-hippie-fusion wardrobe of salsa dancers of the time. In just minutes on “Quit Tu”, you can see how Pacheco ingeniously commands a multilateral chorus of star singers directing horns and percussion.

Known as “El Sonro Meyer” (greatest singer) in Puerto Rico, Ismail “Maolo” Rivera’s sound was created in collaboration with his childhood friend, the percussionist Rafael Cortijo. Reconstructing the rustic bomb and plane styles by adding more instruments, the River-Cortijo sound easily flowed into New York-style salsa. “Las Caras Lindas” comes from Riviera’s solo period with Phenia – it is written by famous lyricist Tite Curate Alonso and celebrates the beauty of Afro-Puerto Ricans.

Harlow was an eccentric figure in the salsa scene – he was born and raised in Brooklyn, the son of a mumbo musician who could not get the Cuban voice out of his head. A conscious pianist, Harlow named himself “El Judo Maraviloso” (The Marvelous Jew) after his hero Arsenio Rodríguez, better known as “El Sego Maraviloso”. “Abran Paso,” sung by his favorite singer, Ismail Miranda, is once a call to Santaria mysticism and a metaphor for an emerging Latino community.

It was a Christmas album that decided to record the classic Puerto Riga Aguinaldos instead of trolling Fania All-Stars to perform salsa versions of “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells,” Willie Cologne and Hector Lavo With a kind of bad Santa New York. This album is unavoidable around the holidays if you have grown up the Puerto Rican family, balancing reverence for tradition with an incredible feeling. A highlight is the first appearance of Yomo Toro, sometimes referred to as Jimmy Hendrix of Cutro, a rustic 10-string lute that bursts with vinyl.

Ray Barretto, a sentimental percussive core of the Phenia All-Stars, was a remarkably versatile conga player whose career ranged from juggle to salsa, Latin jazz and even the Rolling Stones. His mid-term excellence is crystallized into “Indestructible”, riding unique waves of frantic dance energy. The title track tells of a promise that no matter how many times someone knocks, he prepares himself to get up.

The best-selling Salsa album of all time for many years, “Symbra” The Blade-Colonel partnership was the culmination. The album is an attempt to fuse a cinematic concept of New York Latino life with the idea of ​​a classic rock concept album, and the performances are singular and immortal. As a songwriting team, the two had no competition; Blade was at the top of his vocal play, and Colon’s arrangement was never more spectacular.

Another anthem-ragi crowd, “Plant Bandera” joins with a growing sense of nationalism and pride that bind Salsa fans together, as well as an increased awareness of the Latina presence in the United States and the launch of Salsa itself . Chamaco Ramirez’s sometimes overlooked wadi style hits all the right notes, and the band’s rhythm-driven tempo, pierced by a stiff horn section, delivers the song to its maximum effect.

The multilingual poet / troubadour / Hollywood actor shines here in his groundbreaking solo album, combining the lyrical elements of Cubueva Trova with the arrangement of Cuban orchestral salsa. With songs such as “Pablo Pueblo”, he defined the Latino theme of the working class, whose urban dreams became disenchanted after promising the American dream. On “Paula C” she remembers a lost love with the skills of a magic realism boom novelist.

Ray and Cruz were one of Salsa’s most successful internationalization forces, spreading their voice promise, especially to countries such as Colombia. Having developed from their Bugaloo roots into the mainstream salsa machine, Ray and Cruise have fewer devotees. This particular track features a break based on a Chopin idea, which is always a live crowd-pleaser.



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