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- Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: CD de audio
This 1975 Johnny Pacheco recording is the very first album (out of three) that he recorded with the late Cuban singer Héctor Casanova.
It was also one of his first salsa "Conjunto" recordings without Pete "El Conde" Rodríguez who was precisely replaced by Casanova. This was because `Pete Conde' decided to go solo under advice from his wife Frances Rodríguez for 1974's: `El Conde Pete Rodríguez' (now available remastered).
This Pacheco & Casanova recording has being highly criticised for lack of originality and `obvious' "imitation" of the Sonora Matancera style of sound. But I think it is precisely that which makes this album a superb recording! It's a PERFECT balance between the Johnny Pacheco Cuban Conjunto format and style of music that is his own trademark, and of course, the Sonora Matancera influence that we cannot neglect from this recording.
It's basically a balanced, more modernized, and traditionally `típico' style of Cuban Salsa updated by the BIG talents of GREAT Puerto-Rican musicians like: Enríque `Papo' Lucca (Leader & Pianist of Sonora Ponceña) on Piano, Johnny `Dandy' Rodríguez Jr. (founding member of Tipica 73, and Tito Puente's long-time Bongo player, among others...) on Conga Drums, Luis Mangual on Bongoes/ Cencerro [fat handheld cowbell], very possibly Victor Venegas on Bass, Charlie Rodríguez on Tres-Guitar, and Luis "Períco" Ortíz on Trumpet solos, without forgetting the Dominican Hector "Bomberíto" Zarzuela and Pedro "Puchi" Boulong (most probably the other Trumpetists).
[The musicians unfortunately were not even listed on the original vinyl!...]
Anyway, what a line-up this is, let me tell you!...
This recording ALSO boasts of a SUPERB song selection, a rich, fat, thick sound, and LOTS of swing! It's a VERY enjoyable album to listen to, appropriate for any sort of occasion, and VERY HIGHLY danceable, PARTICULARLY if you want to get people into the dancefloor!
This was also the original album to have the very famous 8:24 mins Pacheco penned tune `El Faisán'!
But that's not all! You also have the very nice opener Las Muchachas (No hay, "no'ay", "no'ay") from Dominican Billo Frometa who was the leader of 1950's-60's band: Billo's Caracas Boys.
It just happened to be that the 2nd song `Guaguancó Pa'l Que Sabe' (written by someone called Felípe Yanez) whom this album was dedicated to is one of the very popular tunes from this album. It's quite good to be honest, and features a good, technical and almost Jazzy style of Piano solo by Papo Lucca.
Simaní, from Cuban René Alvarez, is one song that needs patience. It's a bit slower than the others and not too varied, BUT, it includes some different styles of Trumpet solos from "Períco", a quite fine acoustic Tres-Guitar solo by Charlie Rodríguez, and some quite `devoted' vocals from Héctor Casanova...
I quite like this one honestly, but it may not be for everyone... Check it out!
El Chívo is an EXCELLENT, pacy and swingy re-make of that Sonora Matancera tune he first recorded in his 1960 yellow album originally released on Alegre Records: Pacheco Y Su Charanga (now available remastered with a FINE sound quality!...)
The version from this album is ANOTHER BIG highlight!...
Now comes Hoy Como Ayer, a Bolero (Ballad) made VERY famous by Cuban singer Beny Moré in the 1950's. Would you believe that even I, WHO ALWAYS NAGS ABOUT BOLEROS, enjoys this tune!? Unbelievable, but I don't mind listening to this track whenever it's on!...
"Ironically", what comes just after is the "sweet" Yo quiero Una Mujer (`I want a girl that gives her life for me, and that gives me little kisses everyday'!).
It's ALSO good, a bit more `tamed', and has Pacheco playing on Flute.
THE FAMOUS El Faisán, which shouldn't even be worth mentioning, features again some FINE solos by "Períco" and Charlie Rodríguez, and an EVEN BETTER 2nd part to the tune would you believe!?... Casanova also rocks on vocals on this one!...
The humoristic Yo No Parlevú Francé (a `funky' way of saying "I do not speak French") is a fine song with, again, very fine arrangements and a VERY playful Piano solo by Papo Lucca...
The album finishes with ANOTHER CLASSIC which definitely is one of my favourites here: Mango Mangué by Cuban Pancho Fellove with Casanova giving some `SOULFUL' vocals, to say the least!...
With a total play-time of nearly 48 mins, we can REALLY not complain about value for money! Excluding the 3:05 Mins Ballad, you could even afford (if it really was to happen) to not like 2 other tunes and you'd STILL get OVER your money's worth!
Despite ALL these facts, I STILL cannot understand how V2 Music did not make an economical re-made version of this IMMORTAL CLASSIC for the UK/Europe!...
Remastered by: Bob Katz, Digital Domain. Sound quality: 6/10. FINE volume quality, but not quite the remastering I would have hoped for this one; it lacks sharpness!
There's also an EXCELLENT (light-brown edged) Sony Music France 2001 version of this album with an OUTSTANDING volume/sound quality which I'm LUCKY to own El Maestro, but it's a limited release which you will now be paying `a hard to pay' "collector's" price[...].
It's ALSO worth purchasing it because it includes 5/10 `bonus' tracks from the WONDERFUL 1971 `Pacheco/Betancourt Los Dinámicos' album WHICH YOU MUST STILL BUY WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE REMASTERED!!!