Archive for September, 2009

Descarga Para el Alma pt 2: North vs. South

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Yo, apologies for the posting hiatus, but I’m back in action now.

A simple premise: 1 album from New York City with two hot descargas & 1 album from Colombia with two hot descargas.  Both include versions of “Mondongo” plus one more descarga each.

Now, I love the Latin sounds that emerged from NYC from the 1960s and 1970s to death, but the output that came from our southern friends down in Panama & Colombia raises the bar considerably in pure style.  The poorer recording equipment & inferior quality vinyl used in these tropical countries gives the music an unmistakable rawness and heaviness.  Not just that, the groups were looser, more creative , and waaaaaay more willing to take risks.

Case in point here.  Los Corraleros were a Cali-based group of talented players that traveled to the Big Apple to gig and record a few albums on more occasions than one.  Esta Si Es Salsa is the product of one of these transcontinental journeys, and includes a hot version of Frankie Nieves‘ killer “Mondongo” (from The Terrible Frankie Nieves album on Speed records).  Their take on this classic descarga begins loosely, familiarly following the original’s structure, but soon enough breaks into a piano solo that far outlasts that on the Nieves version.  It’s as if the piano player from Los Corraleros is attempting to say to his counterpart: “oh, you think you can play?”  If their style wasn’t South American enough, they throw in an accordion for good measure!

I’m also including “Ten Cuidado” and “Don Eliseo” from each respective album for your listening/dancing pleasure.

NEW YORK:

The Terrible Frankie Nieves: “Mondongo” & “Ten Cuidado”
From the S/T LP (Speed  SM-105, 196?)

If you like these songs make sure to cop the rest of this classic Latin album, remastered and rereleased by Nieves himself.

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COLOMBIA:

Los Corraleros: “Mondongo” & “Don Eliseo”
From their Esta Si Es Salsa! LP (Discos Fuentes, 196/7?)

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Chicano Power

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Otherwise filled to the brim with popular Rancheras and cheesy Baladas, the Chicano Power LP by Little Joe and the Embers contains one notable exception.  Check out their hard and heavy version of the Santana classic “Oye Como Va”, itself an adaption of an earlier Tito Puente song.  The lead guitarist must have been fully feeling the Chicano Power because he gives Santana himself a run for his money on pure skill!

Little Joe and the Embers: “Oye Como Va”
From the Chicano Power LP (NorTex, 1973)

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Paraguayo Psychedelic Soul

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Back this week with some excellent soulful South American psych.  Los Jokers hail from Paraguay, a small country (by South American standards) nestled in between Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia.  Recorded here on the Argentinian Parnaso label, Los Jokers give us the spectacular “Solamente Soul”, the clear winner on an otherwise hit or miss LP.

I first heard “Solamente Soul” on a mix by DJ Ferrari who always generously shares excellent and rare music, and was finally able to track down a copy for myself from a friend who recently returned from an extended trip to Brazil.  Props to both of those dudes.  I love this one!

UPDATE: I just added one more song from the LP called “Dientes de Perro” (or Dog Teeth), labeled on the LP sleeve as “Afro Beat”.  Hope you dig this too.

Los Jokers (Paraguayos): “Solamente Soul” & “Dientes De Perro”
From the S/T LP (Parnaso, 1973)

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NOTE: There are two different covers for this LP.  One as shown here, and another with a small photo of the band surrounded by a red border.