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Welcome to the elWatusi eNewsletter Nº 11 for September 14, 2010.

This week Codigo has unleashed the long overdue TITO PUENTE: El Rey - A Man and His Music, which is an absolute gem with 45 tracks. Also, we are proud to feature the WORLDWIDE DEBUT of PIBO MÁRQUEZ' sizzling new salsa release, Te Pones A Bailar - a must-have. We're featuring his back-catalog as well, including the killer 2007 Homenaje a los Reyes de la Salsa. DJ El Chino's very popular compilation Los Dinosaurios: Salsa Y Mambo Underground, Vol. 1, is now here at elWatusi, as are the vintage gems from Latin Soul Records. These include ORQUESTA DEE JAY, JOE ACOSTA, LA FANTASTICA and others. We also have some very cool '70s reissues from NOSOTROS, JUSTO BETANCOURT, LEBRON BROTHERS, SONORA PONCEÑA, JOHHNY PACHECO and one of my favorites, WUELFO with LARRY HARLOW. Two super highlights are from MONGUITO SANTAMARIA and also the PUERTO RICAN ALL-STARS FEATURING KAKO, an Al Santiago production. New Artist Mini Bios of PIBO and MONGUITO are down below as is an almost unreal video clip of a club performance featuring OSCAR D'LEON, HÉCTOR LAVOE and LALO RODRIGUEZ! This one is simply amazing.
Finally, we're pleased to have DJ DAVID MUNOZ as part of our growing team of elWatusi DJs! David has just contributed an awesome 40 track playlist that should not be missed. Read on...
TITO PUENTE | El Rey - A Man and His Music
Oomph! The long awaited Man and His Music tribute to the legendary bandleader, composer, arranger and percussionist Tito Puente. This, folks, has all the cream, the best of the best. 45 pristine tracks including "Abaniquito," "Mambo Diablo," "Ran Kan Kan," "Oye Como Va," "Barbarabatiri," "Jumpin' with Symphony Sid," "Para Los Rumberos," "El Rey Del Timbal" and a ton of other total gems. This is the perfect Puente primer, and would make an amazing gift for both newbies and experienced lovers of Puente's genius. Features singers Vicentico Valdés. Santos Colón, Rudy Calzado, Bobby Escoto, Celia Cruz, La Lupe, Meñique, Frankie Figueroa, Adalberto Santiago, Ismael Quintana, Junior Gonzalez, Héctor Casanova, and Azuquita.

PIBO MÁRQUEZ | Te Pones A Bailar
WORLDWIDE DEBUT! - an elWatusi Exclusive
Watch out, kids, Pipo Marquez and his killer crew, Descarga Criolla, have a NEW salsa project. The Venezuelan percussionist has surrounded himself with top-level musicians forming a true international alliance. And together they show how salsa should be made! Listen to the the opening track Pa' Puerto Rico to get a sense for the feel of this smokin' project. Smart arrangements, superb playing and top-notch singers are throughout this session. And for a percussive blowout like you never heard, check out La Placita -- Marquez is on fire. And the swing on Banbanquere will leave you dizzy. Pibo also reinterprets the classic Isla Del Encanto popularized by Hector Lavoe. There are special guests like Luisito Quintero, Paoli Mejia, Teo Hernandez, Fernando "Chino" Suarez, Frederick "El Coco" and Edward Rivas. This album has quickly shot up the ranks to become a Best of 2010 contender. One listen to the cover track, Te Pones a Bailar and you'll know why. Big DJ Alert: Highly Recommended - elW

PIBO MÁRQUEZ | Homenaje a los Reyes de la Salsa
Part of a string of hot new Venezuelan salsa releases to recently arrive at our shores, Descarga Criolla is probably the biggest orchestra and certainly packs the biggest sound. Percussionist and composer Joel "Pibo" Marquez, leader of the band, decided to open with Oscar D'Leon's "Sigue Tu Camino" a clear statement of opulence and pure swing. It rocks. There are many singers on Homenaje a Los Reyes De La Salsa, some of whom are José "Cheo" Linares, Dimas Pedroza, Marcial Isturiz and Orlando Castillo "Watussi" — a salsa king himself who is paid tribute here on "Ustedes, Mi Rumba y Yo." The homenaje continues with a superb "Señor Sereno", Ismael Miranda's mega hit. This one is quite amazing with Enrique Alvarez' electric violin riffing over the can't-stop-us coro. Pure salsa bliss, folks. The band pays tribute to El Gran Combo with "Irimo", the the Latin Brothers with "Las Calaveras" (sung by Watussi) and to Celia Cruz with the Luis Kalaff composition "Juancito Trucupey". You better have some water nearby, you're gonna need it. "Irimo" alone will cause you to lose 10 pounds — a smoker. Descarga Criolla is in the house, and has proved, without a doubt, that Homenaje a Los Reyes De La Salsa is a salsa lover's must-have. Very Highly Recommended.

Joel Pibo Márquez, the highly talented Venezuelan percussionist who brought us the spectacular salsa Homenaje A Los Reyes De La Salsa (see above), returns with an equally intense Latin jazz record that is framed with folkloric touches and is a percussive, funk-jazz tour de force. Listen to the clip of "Sahel" to get the picture. Márquez calls his band Sus Manos Calientes -- and he's not kidding. These are musician's musicians. And there's a clearly conscious border crossing sensibility here with elements of the music of Brazil, Cuba, Africa, and the Americas. Marquez' projects are typified by careful planning and deeply crafted arrangements. We look forward to see where he goes from here. Highly Recommended.

Los Dinosaurios: Salsa Y Mambo Underground, Vol. 1 - Seleccion DJ El Chino
DJ El Chino has done it again. One of Colombia's top selectors has scoured the dark recesses of sabor and has unearthed a rich selection of "underground" salsa and mambos. This international compilation features the hidden treasures of Bush Y Su Nuevo Sonido (Panama), La Combinacion 77 (Venezuela), Toby Muñoz Y Su Orquesta (Panama), Danny Gonzalez Y Su Orquesta Sensacional (USA), Carlos Miranda Y Su Latin Combo and Tito Chicoma (Peru) and many others. Guaranteed smokers, each one. This is material you are not likely to come by elsewhere, so I suggest you pick it up while it's still available. Are you listening? Totally cool garage salsa at its best. Highly Recommended.

La Presente compilacion es una muestra de las sonoridades afrolatinas, basicamente Salsa, Son Montuno, Mambo y Guaguanco, que dificilmente tuvieron la suficiente difusion en los medios radiales. Mi Tributo no es solo para el bailador, sino tambien para los melomanos de recorrido y para estos maravillosos musicos, algunos aun vigentes, que casi cuatro decadas despues nos siguen deleitando. Y esto con la bella remasterizacion de mi amigo Michael "DJ El Rumbero".
[from the label's website]

BAZEADO | Requebra Nega
Bazeado was formed by Brazilian soap opera star Pedro Martins in l999. Resident in Brighton, the five-piece ensemble take traditional rhythms like the Baiao, Samba and Batucada to create a dynamic vision of the future of Brazilian music.
Hailing from Sao Paulo, singer, guitarist and percussionist, Pedro Martin started his musical career as a Som Livre artist. Like Pedro's present day heros Gilberto Gil & Lenine, he has drawn on the classic, often forgotten traditional rhythms such as Maracatu and Baiao, used by the masters like Jackson Do Pandeiro and Luiz Gonzaga. All Bazeado songs are original compositions.
Pedro's musical journey has taken him through Europe: he formed bands in Denmark and Belgium and in France he worked with Oba-Brasil. Since residing in England he's recorded with Da Lata (Songs from the Tin) as well as classic Brazilian fusion group Azymuth on Woodland Warrior, in addition to performing with Joyce, Les Etoiles and Bah Samba. Bazeados musicians have been garnered from such reputable outfits as Cubana Bop, Bah Samba and Carnival Collective.

Original Release Date: 1971
Finally! After 35 years out of print and 4 months of postponement of this project, Orquesta Dee Jay "Forget It" is officially available. You may be asking yourself, "Who on earth is Orquesta Dee Jay?" Some Latin music enthusiasts are still asking that question today. When I first heard Orquesta Dee Jay sweet Latin Soul single "Forget it" I was under the impression it was recorded by Jimmy Sabater one of lead singers for Joe Cuba Sextet... There is something interesting about this Orquesta. Orquesta Dee Jay has an authentic swinging soul sound in their salsa not only in their lyrics but in their music arrangements. There is no question, the album "Forget it" should have won a Grammy in my book for best swinging Latin Salsa, best single "Forget it" and best coro in the 70s by Yayo El Indio, Adalberto Santiago & Elio Romero. Every track on this album is a killer.
— Andres Padua, Latin Soul Records

JOE ACOSTA | The Power Of Love
Original Release Date: 1971
EDITORIAL: For the first time in over 30 years, the best album that was originally recorded on the rare and short-lived record label Ghetto Records in 1971 is now available here with an extra bonus. Includes the sweet Latin soul hit "I Need Her" that peaked #1 for over 21 weeks. Also includes an unreleased bonus track. Digitally Remastered by DigiTech. Ghetto Records, an independent record label, only printed limited copies of many of their singles and LPs including this hot Latin soul, swinging salsa and Latin jazz record The Power of Love by Joe Acosta. [from the liners]

LA FANTASTICA | From Ear to Ear
Ladies and gentlemen Latin Soul Records presents the first OUT OF PRINT COLLECTION with more to come, the album that you probably have thrown away in the trash is now back in your possession, digitally remastered by DigiTech Studios exactly how it was recorded in the 1972, the exact front cover how you remembered it when you first purchased it 35 years ago and the Orquesta's debut album originally recorded on the short-lived independent record label Ghetto Records in 1971, LA FANTASTICA, From Ear To Ear.
Hector Maisonave discovered this group rehearsing in Brooklyn New York City by accident 1971. Hector was impressed with these young musicians as the played smokin' and swinging salsa. He decided to book the group at the famous nightclub The Village Gate. La Fantastica had an impact on the crowd as they chanted "More, More, More!"
During that night, George Febo owner of Ghetto Records was at the scene and witnessed the band's performance. George decided to record the band on his label. If you never heard this album before, you will know why the band was called "La Fantastica." They were simply FANTASTIC. (from the label's website)

Eight versions of the Phil Ocasio's 1976 composition "Kin Kon." The song never made it to the studio prior to this new session with lead singer Elliot Rivera - former singer for the Lebron Brothers. It's a good song, a strong salsa with a short merengue break. Includes versions in Spanish, English (way goofy), instrumental, radio edits, extended versions etc., etc. Recommended.

NOSOTROS | Nosotros
Original Release Date: 1979 EDITORIAL: Very good típico old school salsa from 1979 directed by sax player Joseph Roldán Jr. and produced by Louie Ramriez. Most of the tracks penned by vocalist Ramon Muñiz. MUSICIANS: • Charles Affelt: Trumpet, flugelhorn, picolo trumpet • Joseph Roldan Jr.: Renor, baritone sax & wood flute • Ethan Fanshel: Piano, clarinet & celeste • Arnaldo (Nando) Robles: Double bass • Daniel Del Valle: Congas, bongo, timbales, percussion, lead vocal on "La Brenda", coro • Ramon Muñiz: Lead vocal, coro • Guest Artists: Gene Golden: Quinto, congas • Wilson Corniel Jr.: Congas • John Rodriguez Jr.: Percussion

Original Release Date: 1978 MUSICIANS: • Reinaldo (Rei) Rodriguez: Piano and Organ • Johnny Torres: Bass • Justo Luis Rivera: Tres • Raymond (Peewee) Lopez: Bongoes and Guiro • Edwin (Nene) Blassins: Congas and Maracas • William (Willy) Machado: Timbal • Ernesto R. (Chiriqui) Henriquez: Trumpet • Angie Machado: Trumpet • Juan R. (Rafael) Ortiz: Trumpet • Jose A. (Junior) Lozada: Trombone • Julio Enrique Marrero: Trombone • Cheo Quiñones: Coro • Tito Rojas: Coro • Justo Betancourt: Coro • Papo Lucca: Piano and Director (Camaron) • Carlos Del Carpio: Drums and Vibes (La ilusion de la vida) • And Others.....

Originally released 1971. Produced by George Goldner.

This 1980 release features Papo Lucca and Yolanda Rivera in their prime. Not one of their greatest hit recordings, but for me one of their most stimulating. Great for dancing, singing and jazzin'. (Alfredo Cruz)

CONTRIBUTOR COMMENTS: "My favorite of the many records made together by this extremely soulful Puerto Rican singer and the guiding genius of Fania Records." (Ned Sublette)

WUELFO | El Sonido De La 4
Who's Wuelfo, you ask? I didn't know either until I received this mid '70s classic salsa number with a killer band produced by the Prince of Salsa, Larry Harlow (who plays a fiery piano on this release). This is one of those great sleepers that, unfortunately, fell between the cracks. This is Salsa, baby, with deep, rich dance grooves. And Wuelfo, with his no-nonsense style of phrasing, is perfect for this band. It swings. Recommended.

After releasing a trio of Latin soul / boogaloo oriented albums between 1968 and 1970, Mongo Santamaría's pianist son Monguito bid farewell to the Fania stable in 1974 with a straight-ahead album, the wonderfully dark and brooding En Una Nota!. Anonymity was the order of the day, because, apart from naming the producer, composers, arrangers and lead vocalist, there are no musician credits. This is the earliest date I am aware of by singer Héctor Casanova, who does a superlative job. He later found fame as Pete "El Conde" Rodríguez's replacement with Johnny Pacheco's band and as a solo artist.
The acclaimed Marty Sheller, who began a long association with Monguito's dad in the early '60s, produced En Una Nota! and arranged all but one cut. Monguito composed four songs, including the standout "Ven A Guarachar" and jazzy instrumental "Martínez" (co-written by Sheller), and legendary composers "Tite" Curet Alonso and Justi Barreto contributed two and three numbers respectively. The renowned Colombian-born arranger and keyboardist Eddie Martínez arranged "Oye Lo Que Digo", another notable Monguito composition. En Una Nota! is definitely a case of the whole being greater than the known illustrious constituent parts.
Highly recommended. (John Child)

Original Release Date: 1967. An all-star band similar to the Alegre All Stars, the PR All Stars took a groove and ran with it as far as it would go. Features Roberto Roena, Rafael Ithier, Mario Ortiz, Chivirico Davila, Paquito Guzman and others. Produced by Al Santiago. A must have.

Artist Mini Bio: PIBO MÁRQUEZ
Percussionist, composer, arranger, and band leader Joel "Pibo" Marquez was born in Caracas June 22, 1966. At an early age, he began exploring music with the support of his family. He began his musical studies of the cuatro, and other string instruments in Venezuelan roots music, and began participating in different folklore groups at just 8 years of age. He continued his formation at the popular school Cristo Rey, in the district 23 de Enero, at Caracas where he refined his skill and education of Latin American percussion and its origins. His studies soon extended to other countries in Latin America, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Surinam, having the support of an important cultural organization in Venezuela. In 1980, he had the opportunity to put into practice what he learned from these experiences, linking them with different groups of Venezuelan folklore through 1984, when Grupo Madera... more

Artist Mini Bio: MONGUITO
After arriving from Cuba (via Mexico), the Afro-Cuban sonero Monguito (Ramón Quian, died: 2006) made his New York album debut on 1963's Primitivo on Roost singing lead vocals with the conjunto of the legendary Arsenio Rodríguez. He went on to work with the likes of Johnny Pacheco's Nuevo Tumbao, Herbie Mann, Tico All-Stars and Larry Harlow before making four solo albums on Fania between 1967 and 1971. After a period of low output during the '70s, he made a major comeback in 1979 with... more

"I am very proud of creating a Playlist for elWatusi. This selection of salsa music is just a brief example of my activity as DJ. It is a composition of Salsa Dura, Guaguanco and Chachachá, music with Swing, with Tumbao, with roots. My aim is not to impress people but to share the very best of salsa music and to spread our musical heritage all over the world! Because i don't just love Salsa, I LIVE it! Muchas gracias y Que Viva La Salsa (DURA) !!!"

Poor sound, poor picture, but HOLY SH#T! What an AMAZINGLY RARE piece of salsa history! If you have ever had the luck to see something like this in a club, consider yourself one of the chosen people! This is little jam, folks, was sent directly from the Salsa Gods. WOW. ...more blog stuff

I came across this horrifically fantastic sculpture of the Fab 4 (minus 1 ...but notice John's glasses on the table) and had to find out who did it. Turns out, it's the handiwork of pop culture artist David O'Keefe. His cool website is part gallery/part online store where he sells his sculpture and amazing prints (see Desi and Lucy below). Well worth a look. ...more blog stuff

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