NOTHING BUT AN EL FLACO PARTY

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“El Flaco” Freddy y su Orquesta: El Pito/Humo/Lluvia Con Nieve (From Latin Fiesta, Vol. VII, FTA, 1970s)

After a strong purge of hip-hop records last year, I’ve been starting to sift through my Latin records to get rid of doubles and the like. One record – that I had all but forgotten about – is part of Freddy “El Flaco” Roland’s series of party records he put out in the 1970s. Best I can tell, Roland and his orquestra would […]

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THE TECHNIQUE OF RECORD BOXING

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We may be deep in a much ballyhooed vinyl revival but surprisingly, record cases haven’t seemed to have kept pace. With all these folks buying records again from their local record store Whole Foods, you would think there’d be more variety in boxes/cases available. RSD has nudged this along incrementally, especially with prestige releases that tout special packaging but compare the variety of vintage cases you might find on eBay or Etsy vs. new cases being manufactured now and you feel like there’s a missed opportunity.

The last time I saw […]

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LES BAXTER: BUGALOO IN BLUE

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Les Baxter: Yellow Sun (GNP Crescendo, 1969, African Blue)

The term “exotica” always conjures up some swank ’60s bachelor pad, the kind with a well-designed hifi system, some mid-century modern furniture and a crystal decanter of liquor. I wasn’t alive when the genre was more popular but it’s hard to imagine that exotica wasn’t much more than a slightly sexed up variation of easy listening: something more often heard in banal suburban living rooms than a downtown corner condo. It was also one of the more prominent examples […]

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PERUCHIN: A FIERY ROMANCE

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Peruchin: Laura (GNP, 1961, The Incendiary Piano Of Peruchín!)

Another Groove Merchant pick-up, this comes from one of Cuba’s most accomplished Latin pianists of the 1960s. Normally, I would have gone with the delightful little descaraga, “Pa Gozar,” but I find “Laura” to be mesmerizing as this mix between a straight forward romantico cha cha cha with that killer piano montuno midway through.

365 Days of Soul, #165

LOS TIOS QUERIES: COME ON BACK, PLEASE

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Los Tios Queridos: Por Eso Vuelve Por Favor (RCA Peru, 197?, 7″)

Los Tios Queridos were a popular band out of Argentina in the 1960s. With my poor Spanish, I’m not sure on what the name translates to…the loved uncles? The loved ones? Anyways, “Por Eso Vuelve Por Favor” had been on my want list for a while – I love that blend of both funky rhythms with a decidedly bright, pop groove.

365 Days of Soul, […]

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PEREZ PRADO: SYNTHETIC FURY

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(Pantaleón) Perez Prado: Imperfect (UniFunk, 1973, Love Child
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Following up on yesterday’s post, this is another one from the “lesser” Prado brother who cut a few funky LPs for Italy’s UniFunk back in the early ’70s.1

“Circle” is the best known track off this album but I dig “Imperfect” for all that synth action (ARP Odyssey maybe?)

365 Days of Soul, #132

Pro-tip but while the original UniFunk LPs can be pricey, both were reissued on other LPs by different titles. It gets confusing for […]

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PEREZ PRADO: PANTALEON’S PLAY

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Perez Prado: Que Es Lo Que Pasa? (UniFunk, 1972, Escandalo)

First off, this isn’t the more famous Dámaso Pérez Prado, this is his name-biting, younger brother, Pantaleón Pérez Prado. But while Prado the Lesser might have tried to surf off his sib’s fame at least he dropped some killer funky Latin tracks under that family name in the 1970s.1

The bulk of Pantaleón’s output occurred on two albums you recorded for the Italian label UniFunk and if you like one, you might as well try to […]

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ROBERT JOHN: TIPSY OF THE TEQUILA

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Robert John (Gallo): Tequila (Guinness, 1977, Compositions)

I’m not sure if there are any really great covers of a song that’s so kitsch-associated but Gallo gives it a decent shot…until the main melody drops in. What can you do?

365 Days of Soul, #122

LOS DESTELLOS: LA BAMBA’S TRAVELS

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Los Destellos: La Bamba (Odeon, 1976, Ojos Azules)

Just so you can follow…a Mexican American song, influenced by the musical traditions of Veracruz, Mexico, gets covered by a Peruvian surf rock band. I like that.

365 Days of Soul, #116

MARIO ALLISON AND MANITO: SOUTHERN COVERS

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Mario Allison: Oye Como Va (Industria Electro Sonora, 197?, Caliente Caliente Caliente)

To me, you can’t beat Tito Puente’s cover of this Santana classic Tito Puente’s original but this version by Mario Allison and The Stars is charmingly stripped down while maintaining all the hook-y elements of the original.1

Manito: Tuck’s Theme (RCA Victor, 1972, O Incrivel)

One of the more random covers out of Brazil that I know of: Manito flipping on Bill Deal’s “Tuck’s Theme,” complete with both opening and bridge breakbeats. Manito’s LP has […]

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