Salsita Mami


"Lisandro Meza (born in 1939) is one of Colombia's most talented all around musical giants, still going strong today. Equally adept at playing musical instruments (accordion, piano, guitar, bass, gaita) as he is at composition and singing, Meza has recorded just about every type of Colombian genre as well as his own decidedly Colombian versions of salsa, Afrobeat, funk and disco . . . In 1961 Meza joined Los Corraleros de Majagual under the leadership of Manuel Cervantes . . . Perhaps taking a page from bandleaders like Benny Moré, Cortijo and Kako, Meza decided to name this new band his Combo Gigante -- indicating a compact unit but with a big sound, inspired by Cuban, Puerto Rican, and New York orchestras of the time. Meza's outfit was augmented by two additional vocalists, Lucho Gómez and Lucho Peñate, who had a good feel for the New York sound. Unlike many budding salsa bands at the time, for the first record Salsita Mami (released 14 September 1970), Meza's arrangements put the saxophone out front on several songs. The band also features the tambourine, a major addition to New York Latin music during the boogaloo craze, with plenty of space for the piano, timbales, and brass to stretch out on the largely improvised montunos. If one listens to Fruko Y Sus Tesos from this same time period, a similar uncompromisingly hard sound is apparent, especially with the bass and prominent cowbell, as well as swaggering, ominous melodies and a certain odd funkiness inspired by the coastal rhythms of the indigenous cumbia and porro. . . . There are no Meza originals here, but the cover tunes are inspiringly done: check out the fiery version of Joey Pastrana's 'Cha Ca Boom' or the fun 'A Romper El Coco' -- called 'El Coco' here, made famous originally by Benny Moré with Pérez Prado; plus there's 'Soy Dichoso', which was a smash for Tommy Olivencia and Chamaco Ramírez in 1967, a version of Milton Zapata's 'Milton's Jala Jala' (called 'Arrebata' here) and the Celia Cruz and La Sonora Matancera anthem from 1961 'Sabroso Guaguancó'; not to mention 'Cuca La Loca' -- a hit for Willie Rosario and his vocalist Adalberto Santiago in 1968." --Pablo Yglesias (DJ Bongohead) Presented in facsimile artwork and pressed on 180 gram vinyl.