Sugar's Delight: 1955-1962 Spanish Harlem Dancefloor Fillers - The Afro-Cuban Roots of Boogaloo
140-gram LP in 350-gram reverse-printed cardboard sleeve. Remastered and restored sound. Edition of 500. With this series (also including Coco May May (GR 023LP)), Grosso! Recordings brings in some of the Latin bands based in New York between 1955 and 1962 and other recordings done in Cuba by orquestas of the likes of Arsenio Rodríguez, José Curbelo, Roberto Faz, and the immeasurable Sonora Matancera, Orquesta Kubavana, and La Playa Sextet, which were a big influence for the Latinos in New York -- musicians of the stature of Jack Costanzo (of Italian origins), Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Mongo Santamaría, Sabú Martínez, Joe Cuba, and The Alegre All Stars, Cubans Pío Leyva, Cachao, and Arsenio Rodríguez, the powerful voice of Carlos Embale, the elegant ad-libs of Ibrahim Ferrer and Vicentico Valdés, and the unmistakable and overwhelming presence of La Lupe. Here, "Sugar's Delight" is an easygoing pachanga on which one can hear the unmistakable sound of Ray "Hard Hands" Barretto on congas. The collection opens with "Camina y Ven," a countryside guajira by Celina and Reutilio, with Carlos Embale on vocals accompanied by Orquesta Kubavana directed by Carlos Barbería. "Descarga Guajira," an impressive jam by Cachao, starts with a montuno that ends with a masterful trumpet performance by Alejandro "El Negro" Vivar and Yeyo Iglesias and Tata Güines on percussion. "Abaniquito" is a powerful mambo by Tito Puente performed here by Jack Costanzo & His Afrocuban Band. Puente shines on "Mambo Beat," a fusion of mambo and Latin jazz, which is followed by "Joe Cuba's Mambo," in a typical El Barrio sound with the added playing of Joe Cuba on congas. The very Cuban rhumba "Cachita" is revisited by Eddie Palmieri, and the collection closes with "Ay camina y Ven" by Kako Bastar and his Alegre All Stars, consisting of Johnny Pacheco, Cheo Feliciano, Yayo El Indio, Al Santiago, and Barry Rogers on trombone, who would later give the Fania All-Stars so much swing. Soulful music that will make you move your hips, and a necessary collection for understanding the boogaloo and salsa that would come later. Format and selection designed for DJs, collectors, and the general public. Also includes tracks by José Curbelo & His Orchestra, Vicentico Valdés, Ibrahim Ferrer with Chepín & His Orquesta Oriental, and Sabú Martínez.