JIMMY CASTOR: RIP

jcastor.jpg

I’m going to try to get a better post up soon but I did want to say that one of the things I liked about Castor is that he was one of the young Black musicians from uptown who go fascinated with Latin boogaloo and ended up recording a few of them on his debut album in 1967, including this cover of Joe Cuba’s “Bang Bang”:

WE LIKE IT LIKE THAT: SUPPORT THIS BOOGALOO DOCUMENTARY


Earlier in the year, a documentarian named Mathew Ramirez Warren contacted me about a possible interview. Mathew is putting together a full-length film on the history of Latin boogaloo – We Like It Like That – and obviously, this is a topic near and dear to me. Before he came out to interview me, he sent me a few clips of what he had already shot.

I was floored.

The story of Latin boogaloo, in my opinion, has been remarkably ignored. There are any number of theories to explain that relative absence (we don’t […]

Continue reading WE LIKE IT LIKE THAT: SUPPORT THIS BOOGALOO DOCUMENTARY

PETE RODRIGUEZ: ON THE TURN


I’ve been revisiting the music of Pete Rodriguez lately after realizing how little of his catalog I had ever bothered to really sit with. Sure, I had been a fan of his big hits – “I Like It Like That,” “Oh That’s Nice”, “Micaela” for a while but I had never explored much else until I was asked to write the liner notes […]

Continue reading PETE RODRIGUEZ: ON THE TURN

COME FOR THE BOOGALOOS, STAY FOR THE BONUSES


Fajardo Y Sus Estrellas: El Burro Boogaloo
Descarga de Kiki
From Fajardo’s Boogaloo (Kubaney, 1967/8)

Joe Quijano: El Loco
No Me Digas Na’
From The Party Album (Cesta, 1967/8)

Ray Terrace: Manteca
From Home of Boogaloo (Tower, 1968)

Boogaloo’s popularity compelled many artists to record boogaloo albums even if they weren’t born n’ bred for the style (which is to say, younger, Nuyorican, doo-wop raised, and non-Latin music purists). In some cases, that resulted in some truly awful boogaloo albums […]

Continue reading COME FOR THE BOOGALOOS, STAY FOR THE BONUSES

BACK TO THE BOOGALOO: OZZIE TORRENS & PETE RODRIGUEZ


Ozzie Torrens: Mia’s Boogaloo
Day Tripper
From Boogaloo In Apartment 41 (Decca, 1967)

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written much on anything boogaloo. I haven’t abandoned my interest but I basically got backlogged with so many Latin soul records over the last couple of years, it had the weird effect of suffocating my interest in actually writing about them. Thankfully, Torrens LP – a longtime “want” – finally came through and having only been acquainted with the title track, I didn’t realize how frickin’ great this LP was.

Had I […]

Continue reading BACK TO THE BOOGALOO: OZZIE TORRENS & PETE RODRIGUEZ

THE JOE BATAAN & PETE RODRIGUEZ DISCOGRAPHIES


I should have done these a while back but better late than never. When you start researching Latin soul, you realize it’s hard to come by reliable artist discographies, especially when they record for different labels over the course of their careers. In some cases, you have to disentangle a lot of confusing information, such as the surprising number of errors on the joebataan.net site or the fact that Remo re-released a couple of Rodriguez’s albums with new titles.

I was going to add my Speed Records discography but Reynaldo82 already has one up (I put in my recommendations into his comments section). At some future point, I might try to do one for Joe Cuba but he has several early releases (pre-Tico) that I’m still trying to track down so I’m not quite there yet.

Folks should feel free to send in additions/corrections via comments!
Continue reading THE JOE BATAAN & PETE RODRIGUEZ DISCOGRAPHIES

KAKO: LIVE IT UP


Kako: Shingaling Shingaling
From Live It Up (Musicor, 1968)

I was privileged enough to work on the liner notes for this album and even though Kako is no longer with us, I did get to speak to many of the folks who worked on the album, most notably Bobby Marin (for whom this album was his first time recording lead vocals), Mike Amadeo, and singer Azuquita. It’s not only one of the better boogaloo albums of the era in terms of the arrangements and production but it was also unusual for being one of the […]

Continue reading KAKO: LIVE IT UP

HOLY GRAILS AND WHITE WHALES

My last post, about selling off my rarest record, got me thinking about collector culture and in particular, the idea of holy grails vs. white whales.

The two are related – but not identical concepts. The Holy Grail is best known and understood: it’s like a mythical record everyone wants and searches for, but the odds of finding are next to nil. Without a doubt, in the circles I run with, the holiest of Holy Grails is the supposed 12″ version of Bob James’ “Mardi Gras” without the bells. It seems almost […]

Continue reading OF GRAILS AND WHALES: PT. 1

DOIN’ THE YO YO + A LITTLE TOUCH OF TEDDY


Richard’s People: Yo Yo (O-Dub’s Extended Intro Edit)
From 7″ (Tuba, 1968)

When Doc Delay came through to spin the other month, he dropped this in the middle of a funk mix and trainspotter as I am, I craned my neck over to ask: “wtf is this?” It sounded like the unruly love child of a Midwestern funkateer backed by an East Harlem band and as I dug around for more info on its background, turned out I was more or less on point.

While the 7″ came out of Detroit (rumor is, the vocalist was […]

Continue reading DOIN’ THE YO YO + A LITTLE TOUCH OF TEDDY

NEW JOE CUBA BOXSET OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED

Si!