PICK SIX: RUBY ANDREWS


Ruby andrews

Despite appearances otherwise, I’m not much of a completionist. I may go through pet phases of interest in a particular artist or label but generally, I lack the time (or better said, focus) to dive into entire discographies (I mean, that’s what we have Numero for). One of the “drawbacks” to foregoing such an approach is that I’m continually rediscovering how good a catalog is even if I realize, in hindsight, “I should have known better.” Case in point: Ruby Andrews.

This Chicago singer, backed by the powerhouse writing of the Brothers of Soul, put together a stellar set of sides for Ric Williams’s Zodiac label beginning in the mid 1960s. The first track that most folks like me (read: hip-hop heads) will come across is likely this track:1

Ruby Andrews: You’ve Made a Believer Out of Me
From 7″ (Zodiac, 1969)

It’s still a perennial favorite of mine (I mean, for real); one of those ridiculously easy “go-to” cuts to slip into a mix. I can only assume it was a successful single for Andrews since it ended up on each of her two Zodiac LPs, the only track to span both.

From there, she has another two singles that should be relatively easy/cheap to come by. One of them is a “Part 1/2” single of the slow-burner “Whatever It Takes To Please You”:

Ruby Andrews: Whatever It Takes To Please You (Part 1)
From 7″ (Zodiac, 1971)

You can also find this song in its full form on the Black Ruby LP, her second long play for Zodiac but the one that contained several of Zodiac 7″ releases that came out prior to her first Zodiac album, Everybody Saw You (yeah, it gets confusing).

Then there’s this 7″ which I wrote about two years ago.

Ruby Andrews: Hey Boy (Take a Chance On Love) + Come To Me
From 7″ (Zodiac, 1967)

Both sides are great but “Come To Me” is an absolute gem of a production which gets the b-side ballad a slight nod over the excellent Northern flip side. This is 7″ only release; how it never made either Zodiac LP is beyond me. On the other hand, these last two songs are on Black Ruby but it’s worthy copping the 7″ on top of it; both sides are awesome:

Ruby Andrews: Just Loving You + The Love I Need
From 7″ (Zodiac, 1968)

“Just Loving You” is dazzling Northern stomper backed with an updated take on a doo-wop slow jam. Really killer two-sider though you’ll often pay for the privilege; if you’re being economical about it, just spend the loot for Black Ruby and you’ll get 2/3rds of this list in one fell swoop (or, for the digital minded, grab Just Loving You: The Zodiac Sessions.

For more on Andrews, Zodiac and the Brothers of Soul, read the essential background on the Soulful Detroit site.

  1. All songs available on the Just Loving You: The Zodiac Sessions anthology.

PICK SIX: DESCER COMIGO



I’ve spent the last few days, trying to figure out what it is about the Brazilian music I find myself gravitating towards. I am not, remotely, a hardcore Brazila-phile, though not for lack of interest…as I’ve probably said in the past, Brazilian music is just so insanely massive that to really “get into it” you have be willing to turn over a good part of your life, dedicated to its majesty and complexity. Tempting as that siren’s call may be, I have to concede that to my betters.

To be sure, Brazilian music in all its myriad forms has proven beguiling the world over and I wish I had some genius insight into explaining why but despite using my (remaining) brain cells to articulate what the secret is, I’m still at a loss. In the most general, the Brazilian styles I tend to find most compelling – bossa nova, samba, Tropicalia – all offer this intriguing, intricate balance between subtle but often puissant rhythms and some of the most sophisticated melodies you can imagine. Add to that the incredible “feel” of the music which always inspires metaphors of comfort, layering and “wrapping” from me. Seriously, I really wish I had a less prosaic way to try to nail whatever that vibe is but it’s ever elusive. Unlike Afro-Cuban music, the Brazilian I like doesn’t make me want to dance. Unlike American soul, Brazilian doesn’t necessarily invoke deep emotion. Mostly, it makes me feel good. I’m not quite sure why that is but I’ll take it.

What follows is – at best – a smattering of different songs I’ve been listening to lately, mostly because they’re all recent purchases. They’ve been a reminder to me that I really should be listening to (and thus enjoying) more Brazilian tunes. Hope you will be similarly inspired…


Ivan Lins: Madalena
b/w Hei, Vocé
From Agora (Forma, 1970)

This Lins – his debut – is a truly remarkable album, easily one of the most soul-influenced Brazilian albums I’ve heard yet (not surprisingly Arthur Verocai produced it). One song I didn’t include, “Baby Blue” is a straight up soul ballad, very Bill Withers-esque in fact, and Lins switches between Portuguese and English during the tune; really lovely (maybe I’ll include it in some future ballads post). Now…if that’s the song I left off, you can imagine how good the inclusions are. I start with Lins big early hit, “Madalena,” a song probably most connected with Elis Regina.

What I find interesting about the difference between Lins’ version and Regina’s (and I’m not clear whose was actually recorded first but I’m going to guess Regina’s) is how each interpolates that opening piano riff. It’s funny but when I first heard Lins’ song, I thought, “ah, this must be where DJ Monk-One” got the melody for “Bossa Biz” from but then realized: no, the notes are different. It wasn’t until I heard Regina’s that I found the correct source but I was relieved to know that the similarities I thought I heard weren’t just a figment of my imagination. That little piano riff alone – regardless if Lins’ or Regina’s – is just about one of the tastiest single bars I can imagine. Then you throw on that rhythm section Lins is backed by and it’s just too perfect.

(Here’s a more recent video of Arthur and Ivan playing this song together).

“Hei, Vocé,” is equally, if not more compelling: it has so many great elements going for it: that opening horn line which sounds very “Crystal Blue Persuasion” to me, the funk-inspired drumming and then those background singers behind Lins, “doo-doo-ing” to their hearts content. All this and drum breaks + horn stabs midway through? Are you kidding me?


Paulo Diniz: Ninfa Mulata
b/w Chutando Pedra
From Quero Voltar Pra’ Bahia (Odean, 1969)

I can’t find much on Diniz despite the fact that this album has been, in the past, reissued on CD. It certainly seems to have come out during a time when Brazilian musicians were responding to the explosion in funk music coming out of the States; this Diniz album would compare favorably to, say, Tim Maia’s work (in fact, the two sound very similar with their gruff, growling vocals). “Chutando Pedra” puts that voice front and center over a mid-tempo, jangling beat that reminds me of some British mod rock of the era; make sure to listen deeper to catch the excellent piano work being done here.

The absolute monster on the album though is “Ninfa Mulata” which google-translates into “mulatto nymph” (please correct me if I’m wrong here!) and that fuzzed out guitar/bass(?) at the beginning is possibly one of the hardest sounding things I’ve heard since I first heard this. The song does shift in tone after that opening and goes a big more pop-y but I’m happy to just loop up the first 12 seconds and hang out there for a while.


Tamba Trio: Mas Que Nada
b/w Mania de Maria
From Avanco (Phillips, 1963)

Taking a far softer approach is the light and lively sounds of the Tamba Trio, one of the most prolific and important bossa nova groups of the 1960s. This is from their second album and much of it drifts breezily on slick bossa rhythms and melodies. Their version of “Mas Que Nada” is quite good which basically leads me to conclude that this Jorge Ben song is simply impossible to f— up. I’m sure there are bad versions out there; I just have never heard one. It really bespeaks Ben’s genius in constructing a song with much beautiful dynamics going for it – the melodic hook that’s so familiar, that soaring vocal bit that – here – is done in harmony. Gorgeous.

I’m going to end this dip into Brazil with the quietest of the songs I’ve included – a little bossa ballad “Mania de Maria.” I love how this song opens – that solo piano, set adrift in melancholy before taking a spritely but serene turn into a jaunty dance number. Throw it on after dinner and enjoy where it takes you.

BLAZE IT UP: FUNK HEATERS



James Brown: The Chicken
From 7″ (King, 1969). Also on Popcorn.

Sugar Pie DeSanto: A Little Taste of Soul
From 7″ (Gedinson’s 100 Wax, 1962).

John Ellison: You’ve Got to Have Rhythm
From 7″ (Phil L.A. of Soul, 1970). Also on Funky, Funky Way of Making Love.

Lou Courtney: Hey Joyce
From 7″ (Pop-Side, 1967)

Toussaint McCall: Shimmy
From 7″ (Ronn, 196?). Also on Nothing Takes the Place of You.

Little Eva Harris: Get Ready – Uptight
From 7″ (Spring, 1968). Also on The Spring Story.

Bonus: Mighty Mo: The Next Message (Version)
From 7″ (Peace Find, 2007)

Today’s pick six follows on the Latin Party Starters post I made a few weeks back; this time, I offer up a selection of funk tracks. I, by no means, have that impressive of a funk 45 collection but I tend to collect for efficacy rather than rarity.

That’s why James Brown is such a blessing – much of his better material is easily attainable since he was so popular and prolific. “The Chicken” is a great example of his late ’60s funk styles, more minimalist than his ’70s output which tended to be more dense and involved. Something like “The Chicken” is such a clean, simple funk instrumental and no doubt, an inspiration to the dozens of bands who began to churn out similar funk tunes to this and other stuff off the excellent Popcorn LP.

The Sugar Pie DeSanto cut comes from a few years earlier – it’s a great example of “proto-funk,” one of the many sides from the early 1960s which clearly foresaw the kind of rhythmic energy that the end of the decade would be awash in. Though this song appears on the James Brown’s Original Funky Divas anthology, the Brown connection here is somewhat tenuous – he didn’t produce the single but his former drummer Nat Kendrick did lead her backing band here. Also, the version here is the original 1962 release (which to me was far superior). The version on the comp was actually an alternate take from 1964 which was much faster but loses something in the trade-off. (Thanks to Cool Chris and the Groove Merchant for this one).

I first heard the John Ellison cut at Miles Tackett’s long-running “Funky Sole” party and the first thing it reminded me was Don Gardner’s “My Baby Likes to Boogaloo” because of that hard, gritty guitar line that comes in after the intro. That is so my sound. Ellison was one of the Philly soul/funk artists to come out on the Phil L.A. of Soul label but this one, alas, isn’t as easy to catch as, say, the People’s Choice. I’d love to get any recommendations for other stuff with “that sound”.

Lou Courtney’s “Hey Joyce” is one of those frustrating 45-only cuts from an artist who has quite a few LPs under his belt but didn’t manage to put this song onto any of them. Between Pete Rock and Brainfreeze, this single has had a following for years and you can hear why; it’s got everything – an opening breakbeat, killer horns, an absolute gem of a rhythm section and two sets of background singers. Are you kidding me? They don’t get much better than this.

The Toussaint McCall might be one of the greatest funk instrumentals (outside of James Brown and Meters) that’s so easy to come by, you should be asking yourself why you don’t already have this (if you don’t already have this). I mean – this thing has what? Two parts: organ and drums but it sounds like a monster.

The Little Eva Harris is probably something I first heard at Funky Sole as well – you know me and covers – the moment I heard this, I knew I had to have it. Seriously – she is killing the “Get Ready” cover and you medley-mix that with Stevie’s “Uptight”? Holy s—, that’s hot. Her backing band tears this whole track up. Great, great, great stuff.

For a bonus, I added this sort-of new 45 from Finland that Jared Boxx hepped me to last time I was in NYC. The A-side is a cover of Grandmaster Melle Mel’s “The Message” but I’m actually partial to the “version” mix on the flipside. Even though the melody from “The Message” isn’t as obvious here, the sparser approach appeals to me more but both sides bring down the hammer. Copies of this may be hard to grab still but do your best; you’ll be happy you did.

PICK SIX: NUEVO LATIN SABOR


Bronx River Parkway & Candela All Stars: Donde
Bronx River Parkway & Candela All Stars: San Sebastian 152
From San Sebastian 152 (Truth and Soul/Candela, 2008)

Johnny Pacheco: Boogaloo De Johnny (Quantic Remix)
Dave Cortez: Happy Soul With a Hook (DJ Format Remix)
From I Like It Like That (Fania, 2008)

Los Po-Boy-Citos: Wobble Cha
Los Po-Boy-Citos: Fat Mama/Mother-In-Law
From New Orleans Latin Soul (2008)

You have retro-soul on one hand but there’s also an equally strong trend of what I’m going to call nuevo-Latin (just for the hell of it): soul/funk-influenced Afro-Cuban rhythms whipped together by a younger generation of musicians. The UK’s Quantic is probably one of the best known of this cohort, but you could also include Grupo Fantasma and Chica Libre or Brownout (I’m sure there are many, many more). However, the one I’ve been keeping tabs on has been the Bronx River Parkway and Candela All Stars joint project. I first heard them probably around 2006 and then was reminded of them again in 2007 and the group – lead by the same people in the El Michels Affair/Truth and Soul – has finally completed its debut album, San Sebastian 152 which should be shipping any day now.

Bronx River Parkway combines players out of the Truth and Soul camp with a host of Puerto Rican musicians, many of them veterans from bands once lead by Roberta Roena and Cortijo. Most of this album was originally begun during a trip down to San Juan in 2006. The result is a great meeting point between the tight, funky arrangements that Truth and Soul is known for and the infectious Latin swing brought by their PR counterparts. You really hear that on the title song, especially in how beautifully the horn sections from both bands really give the song such a shine.

“Donde” I included because I was tickled by its nod to one of the great Latin soul/boogaloo joints of all time: “Freak Off” by Orchestra Harlow. It’s not a cover per se, but clearly riffs of the Harlow classic.


Speaking of Quantic and while we’re on the Latin tip already, I’d be remiss in not mentioning that Fania has just put out their “remixed” compilation which features a slew of their remix sides (formerly on 12″) on one disc. Considering how quickly many of those singles sold-out, it’s nice that they put them out on one disc. To be honest, while there’s some stuff on here that I thought was really solid (such as the two tracks above), like most remix albums, there’s a good deal of material that I personally just didn’t care much for, especially the more house/techno-oriented remixes which aren’t my musical bag.

Of the material I did like, the “Happy Soul With a Hook” edit by DJ Format was one of the first 12″s that Fania released and it’s easy to see its appeal – super uptempo, funky and big with Xtina fans. This is the same song I wrote about in the Happy Soul Suite and Format reworks this particular version by playing with the drums and giving it some extra kick. I do, personally, miss the vocals from the original Latin Blues Band song but hey, I guess I could remix the remix.

Anyways, the Quantic remix of “Boogaloo De Johnny” was a very nice surprise – I guess I’m used to QSO’s more uptempo styles, but this is more like that great remix of Nas’ “Get Down” with its reggae sabor. Overall, I like that approach here – stripping the song down and building it up rather than putting too much on it. (I don’t own any Pacheco boogaloo albums – anyone know what the original to this was off of or is it a cut n paste job of several songs?)


Lastly, we have a new group out of NOLA, the Los Bo-Boy-Citos, a six-man, second-line-meets-Latin-soul outfit. Their conceit is intriguing – take NOLA’s funk/soul heritage (itself Cuban-influenced) and then throw in an East Harlem vibe and see what cooks up. At the risk of being an essentialist, I associate both New Orleans and Spanish Harlem sounds with more gritty, lo-fi flavor and this is a little too clean for my tastes; compare their take on “Fat Mama” with Tito Puente’s original and you’ll see what I mean. That said, 1) the latter song’s combination with Allen Toussaint’s “Mother In Law” is inspired, to say the least, plus 2) I’m slightly in awe of any band that knows about – let alone covers – such obscure-r fare such as “Danzon Boogaloo, arguably the very first “official” Latin boogaloo ever record, by Ricardo Ray, or Cool Benny’s “Wobble Cha” (see below).

Also, in an unexpected way, their sound is actually much closer to what boogaloo sounded like in the jazz world during the late ’60s era of Blue Note/Prestige artists like Lou Donaldson and “Boogaloo Joe” Jones. That boogaloo fad in jazz was never very connected to the jazz world (from what I’ve been able to research), Les McCann’s Bucket O’ Grease excepted, and in a serendipitous way, Los Po-Boy-Citos create that missing link between the jazz and Latin boogaloo styles.


Bonus: Cool Benny: Wobble Cha
From 7″ (Virgo, 196?). Also on California Soul.

For a bonus, I thought I’d throw on the original “Wobble Cha” – one of those lesser-known West Coast Latin dance tunes. I first heard about it from the California Soul comp (and I might now actually own the 7″ that it was mastered from) and DJ Little Danny from Office Naps (which is BACK!) also wrote about it in his Pt. 1 on “West Coast Latin jazz vibes” posts (by sheer coincidence, he just posted up his Pt. 2). “Wobble Cha” has “novelty” all over it which isn’t a bad thing (and to be sure, there were a few Latin artists with wobble cuts but it was never as big as even the shing-a-ling, let alone boogaloo) – the song has a fun little swing to it and I’m a big fan of the mambo-era vibes flavor.

PICK SIX: HARMONIZE!



The Notations: It Only Hurts For a Little While
From S/T (Gemigo, 1975)

The Temprees: Explain It To Her Mama
From Lovemen (We Produce, 1972). Also on Best Of.

The Persuaders: Trying Girls Out
From S/T (ATCO, 1973)

The Modulations: Those Were the Best Days of My Life
From It’s Rough Out Here (Buddah, 1975)

The Moments: Love on a 2-Way Street
From Not On the Outside, But on the Inside, Strong! (Stang, 197?)

The Montclairs: Dreaming Out of Season
From Dreaming Out of Season (Paula, 1972). Also on Make Up For Lost Time.

Bonus: The Flamingos: Why Can’t Susie Go to School With Lucy
From Today (Ronze, 197?)

I’m working backwards here since this was my original, introductory post to the Pick Six series. Note: I’m fond of starting new series that promptly go nowhere so just be warned. The idea behind the series was based around the relative little time I have these days to get more posts up and throwing up six at a time seemed like one way to clear the slate faster. However, it also gave me an opportunity to think of my own music library more thematically, hence each Pick Six post will have some kind of thread that ties all them together. Last time, it was Louie Ramirez and for this post, I was going through a stack of soul records and realized that, of late, I’ve been acquiring a grip of LPs by R&B groups built around harmonized singing, ala the Chi-Lites or Stylistics.

Most of these groups were influenced by multi-member gospel singing and not surprisingly, many in these groups could trace their musical histories back to gospel singing prior to their R&B excursions. Especially in a city like Chicago, it’s not hard to guess that a group like the Notations probably took their inspiration from both gospel as well as The Impressions, whose three-part harmonies were incredibly influential. The Notations were first signed with Twinight but by the 1970s, had shifted over to Curtom (via the Gemigo subsidiary), Curtis Mayfield’s label. “It Only Hurts” is one of those sweet soul classics, especially because of that memorable string melody that opens the song. i like the dramatic flourishes throughout the song and the interplay in the quartet’s voices (Clifford Curry, LaSalle Matthews, Bobby Thomas, Jimmy Stoud) work well against one another.

The Temprees were a trio out of Memphis, TN, first signed to We Produce, a Stax subsidiary (same label Ernie HInes’s “Our Generation” came out on). The three, composed of Jasper Phillips, Harold Scott and Deljuan Calvin, were young – high schoolers – when they first met and there’s a charming swagger to them naming their first album Love Men when they probably weren’t that many years out of their peachfuzz yet. “Explain It To Her Mama” kicks off with a pounding little breakbeat and then shifts into a rich, mid-tempo ballad that showcases Phillip’s falsetto.

The Persuaders’ “Trying Girls Out” may be familiar to some of you as the source for the “Girls, Girls, Girls” remix off Jay-Z’s The Blueprint and it makes you appreciate how keen an ear Kayne had back in 2001. The original has a sly humor to it – this is no sentimental love song for certain – but even if it is a players’ anthem, the Persuaders sure do make it sound sweet. This is from their self-titled album, the follow-up to their hit Thin Line Between Love and Hate, featuring Douglas Scott, brothers Willie and James Holland and Charles Stoghill.

Like the Persuaders, the Modulations were another four-member group, formed in Philadelphia and you can hear that classic “Philly sound” draped onto this nostalgia-suffused track. I’m guessing it’s Larry Duncan on falsetto here but surprisingly, it’s pretty damn hard to figure out who else was in the group (besides Glenn Lewis). For real: the album credits the musicians by name but not the singers…whoops.

The Moments are arguably the most famous ’70s vocal group out of New Jersey though they probably went through enough personnel changes to staff two or three groups. By the time they recorded “Love on a 2-Way Street” their membership could either have been the best known combo, with William Brown, Al Goodman and John Morgan, but it could also have been Mark Greene, Richie Horsley and Morgan). Regardless, the Moments were impressively consistent no matter what the line up and this was one of their classics from the last ’60s.

The Montclairs were a short-lived, four man group out of East St. Louis who never really broke it big despite having some serious vocal talent. Signed to Paula for their one and only album, the group was comprised of Phil Perry, Kevin Sanlin, David Frye, and Clifford Williams. “Dreaming Out of Season” was their biggest hit and it’s so good, it’s a shame the couldn’t find the footing to put out even more than they did.

The bonus cut comes from The Flamingos – you remember, of “I Only Have Eyes For You” fame – but this comes from an early ’70s album (hence the “Today” part of the title) where the doo-wop group is trying to stay current with, y’know, the kids. The song is obviously funk-influenced (and not sweet soul) but I thought it’d make a fun bonus cut to hear a classic soul harmony group trying on a different genre. Personally, I think the song does ok though for a social consciousness tune (the title is a clear reference to integration), it’s overly vague despite sounding pretty obvious.

PICK SIX: LOUIE LOUIE



Louie Ramirez: The New Breed
From In the Heart of Spanish Harlem (Mercury, 1967)

The Latin Blues Band: Oye Mi Guaguanco
From Take a Trip Pussycat (Speed, 1968)

Dianne & Carole: The Fuzz
From Feeling the Pain (Speed, 1968)

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

Jose “Cheo” Feliciano: Esto Es El Guaguanco
From Cheo (Vaya, 1971)

La Crema: Cisco Kid
From El Party Con La Crema (WS Latino, 1973)

Bonus: Beatfanatic: Cookin’
From Adventures in the World of No-Fi Beats (Raw Fusion, 2006)

My most recent Side Dishes was on Latin arranger/composer/musician Louie Ramirez and the recommended Louie’s Grooves anthology. I’ve been wanting to write something on Ramirez for a while and though the Side Dishes post allowed me to riff on some of his work, as the comp’s liner notes acknowledge, it just brushes the surface of how deep his catalog can run. I’d suggest folks read that post first and then come back here.

My pick six for Ramirez focuses mostly on albums not already covered by Louie’s Grooves, beginning with arguably the easiest of his solo albums to acquire: In the Heart of Spanish Harlem. This was recorded for Mercury; I find that interesting since Mercury didn’t have a ton of Latin recordings (that I know of) on the label but I suspect it may have had something to do with producer Richard Marin who was doing some A&R work for labels like Mercury and Verve at the time. Marin’s brother Bobby – another Latin soul giant and fellow composer – is on this album as well; he was a frequent collaborator with Ramirez and it’s not at all unusual to see them on the same projects together. In fact, for this album, Bobby appears on the cover photo alongside Richard and Louie

I was always struck at how Ramirez was able to work on so many different labels at the same time; not long after that Mercury album, he must have been working with Fania on the Ali Baba LP (several of the songs from that rare title are on Louie’s Grooves and then he was also working for Morty Craft’s Speed imprint. I wrote about The Latin Blues Band for the Happy Soul Suite piece and I enjoy revisiting it – any Latin album that has Bernard Purdie as your studio drummer is bound to be rather interesting though instead of the funkier fare I could have nodded to, I went with “Oye Mi Guaguanco,” a solid piece of classic Cuban style by Ramirez, feat. (I think) Luis Aviles on vocals.

Like the Latin Blues Band, the Dianne and Carole album was also on Speed. Speed packed, in my opinion, the biggest bang for the buck – their catalog wasn’t more than a dozen titles or so but what was there was almost all exceptional. This Dianne and Carole album is especially notably since it had one of the few examples of female singers heading a Latin soul album (La Lupe excepted of course). There’s very little known about the two singers – their surnames aren’t even credited on the album! In any case, “The Fuzz” leads side 2, where 4/5 of the songs are arranged by Ramirez and I suspect that most of the same players from the Latin Blues Band played on here as well.

Not long thereafter, Ramirez was also helping compose, play on (and possible arrange?) for the great Puerto Rican bandleader Kako and his Live It Up album on Musicor. Personally, I’ve never figured out what separates a shingaling from a boogaloo and “Shingaling Shingaling” certainly displays many of the stylistic characteristics of both. I’m feeling this – and the whole LP is exceptional.

Ramirez was multi-talented as a musician – known to rock both the timbales and vibes – and I wanted to include an example of the latter by including one of his salsa era performances, playing vibes on Cheo Feliciano’s classic “Esto Es El Guaguanco.” He’s a big reason the opening is so memorable and Ramirez comes back to solo towards the second half of the song.

Last in the pick six is this cool lil cover of “Cisco Kid” that Ramirez arranged for the La Crema album, a one-off project that involved him, Bobby Marin and some other familiar folks but in the Latin funk era of the 1970s.

Bonus: As for “Cookin'”, that might have been the first time I “heard” any Louie Ramirez song since it liberally borrows from “The New Breed.” Slammin’ Latin club cut – trust me on this one.