This week at Boogaloo[LA], it’s me and special guest DJ Roberto Gyemant, aka Beto.

I’ve talked about Beto before – he’s one of the most knowledgeable people I know concerned the jazz/soul/Latin music scene in Central/South American (the Afro-Antilles as he refers to it) and he wrote liner notes for both the Panama and Colombia comps. This should be a real treat – he’ll be dropping in around midnight and hopefully will be blowing minds with some incredible Latin heat. I think I might just turn the whole evening into an all-Latin affair in tribute.

I owe Beto and my regular partner, Murphy’s Law, a great deal for finally opening my ears to salsa. It’s not like I wasn’t aware of it but I think I’ve had bugalú tunnel vision for so many years, I wasn’t all that interested in the era that followed and it wasn’t until I started hearing some of the tracks Beto and ML enjoyed that I realized: “oh, this is why salsa is, you know, huge.” Strangely, the road for me doesn’t go to NY – it actually leads back to Colombia and specifically, Fruko (who’s been a favorite here twice over). It probably could (should) have been Willie Colon or Hector Lavoe or the Fania All-Stars but no…it was a scruffy bassist who really sparked my interest.

In homage to him – and as a preview for tomorrow night – enjoy this:

Fruko Y Sus Tesos: El Preso
From El Grande (Fuentes, 1975)

This apparently is a stone-cold classic around the salsa world and I can see why. That “ay ay ay” kills it, on top of everything else.