Archive for May, 2009

Tremenda Onda

Monday, May 25th, 2009

This week we’ve got some outstanding hard Latin funk for y’all. This is one of the deepest, funkiest Latin tunes I’ve heard in some time, despite not having a thick drum break behind it.  I’m especially feeling the serious back-and-forth going on between the guitar and horns.

Los Tremendos, from what I can gather, were a Colombian group that recorded a decent cumbia record with this monster wah-wah guitar-driven instrumental.

Los Tremendos: “Tremenda Onda”
From the S/T LP (CT Records)


Cooking with Ray

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

I was laying beside the pool today enjoying the sun and “Cocinando” popped into my head, almost on cue.  The cool vocals, spacey keyboards and ubiquitous güiro licks set the tone just right for this 10 minute plus workout.  A perfect track for all your lazy afternoon needs.  Might just be my summer ’09 grilling anthem!

I also am including “Alafia Cumaye” due to how amazing it is.

Ray Barretto- “Cocinando” & “Alafia Cumaye”
From the Que Viva La Musica LP (Fania, 1974)


Porfi Jimenez- Venezuelan Heavyweight

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Walking through the scenic Spanish architecture of the old section of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, during the summer of 2007 I noticed an aging  metal sign entitled “Bazaar” hanging over a short, sunken doorway.  Upon entering the dark and gloomy room filled mostly with shoes and clothes I noticed an elderly woman sitting on a bench entranced in the making of a colorful handmade textile.  “Tiene algo discos, senorita?” I asked in my then poor Spanish.  “Si, si, si” was the reply I got and she popped up from her bench and pointed beneath the antique wooden object she had been sitting on only to reveal thick stacks of the objects I had been madly trying to track down all morning.   I began to sift through the diverse collection of music, confused at how I could pull out an Alpha Blondy LP, an Eric B. and Rakim 12″, and some random cuban records from the same pile.  Eventually I came across this gem of an album by Venezuela’s Porfi Jimenez, along with some other excellent salsa records.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Jimenez eventually found himself performing and recording in Caracas, Venezuela, where he was a strong advocate of a newly emerging brand of Latin music called Salsa.  Here we focus on his excursion into a funky brand of psychedelic Salsa, with a song called “Echate Pa Ca”.  Love the guitar on this one!

Porfi Jimenez y Su Orquesta: “Echate Pa Ca”
From the El Rico Sabor de Porfi Jimenez LP (Velvet, Ecuador Press, 1973)


Chocolate Caliente

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, a legendary Afro-Cuban jazz trumpeter and pioneer of the mambo who did his thing with the likes of Arsenio Rodriguez and others, recorded a mid-seventies salsa album with one major exception.  The title track off the album, “Hot Chocolate,” is a widely slept on latin funk monster with hard breaks and blistering horns and strings.

I ride.

Chocolate Caliente: “Hot Chocolate”
From the Bien Sabroso LP (Mericana, 1975)