Salsa and high energy latin jazz album suggestions

Category: Music

I am setting this thread to provide to others some of the great salsa and high energy latin jazz of yesterday and today. I will start by recommending the last Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz "sonido bestial" concert album. The music in this album is so dynamic and rich, just figure an orchestra with bongos, timbales, drums, congas, six trumpets, three trombones, etc........ The jamming is incredible. I used it to test a musical fidelity system in Tennessee and the store manager asked "what was all latin music that complex and really pushes any system". The best part of the album is in track 6 of disk 1 - Richie Ray plays a Stravinski interlude midway through the song. This is followed by a congas, timbales and bongos me you will enjoy this one!!
Try "Jam Miami-A Celebration of Latin Jazz" on Concord (CD 4899-2). Recorded live in Miami in 2000 with a huge band featuring, among others, Arturo Sandoval, Chick Corea, Poncho Sanchez, & Pete Escovedo.
Arturo Sandoval's albums all arround.
Bueno-Vista Social Club(produced by Ry Cooder) There are also a bunch of solo albums of its members singing an old and hot cuban songs.
I know that Francisco aka PsychicAnimal would have a large list to post here, but he just left to visit his family back home. I'm sure that he'll be overjoyed when he see's this one once he gets back : ) Sean
For a slightly different take on the whole latin thing (which you may or may not be interested in) have a listen to Orishas, on their album A lo Cubano. Strange sound. It's essentially a fusion of very traditional Cuban jazz and rap. Sounds odd, but it really works amazingly well. These guys recorded most of the album in Cuba (with the help of, and in concert with, a lot of the folks from the Buena Vista Social Club, who actually appear on some of the tracks) and then relocated to Paris. There, they initially tried to re-record a lot of the tracks that they had done in Cuba, thinking they could do a lot better with the equipment they could get their hands on in Paris, but ulitmately decided they couldn't touch the sound they had managed to capture in Cuba and released the original stuff. A Cuban friend of mine turned me on to this and, though immediately fascinated by it, I have grown to like it more and more with time. Though I am decidedly not a fan of rap in nearly all of its iterations, this one struck me as a fresh and really exciting sound. That's my recomendation for the day....
That "Latin Jazz" stuff is not to my tastes--usually.

Here's a partial list of groups you can find on CD:

1) Eddie Palmieri
2) Charlie Palmieri
3) Ray Barreto
4) Bobby Valentín
5) Fania All Stars
6) Sonora Ponceña
7) Willie Colón/ Hector Lavoe
8) Ismael Rivera
9) Cortijo
10) Richie Ray/ Bobby Cruz
11) Celia Cruz
12) Roberto Rohena
13) Cheo Feliciano
14) Ismael Miranda
15) Larry Harlow Orchestra
16) EL Gran Combo
17) Orquesta Broadway
18) Oscar de León
19) Machito
20) Tito Rojas
21) Raphy Leavitt
22) Grupo Niche
23) Fruko y Sus Tesos
24) Gilberto Santarosa
Start here:

"Rythm Machine", by the Fania All Stars.

It's available on CD (Columbia Records). Columbia's first attempt at marketing Fania All Stars to the jazz crowd. It was also marketed to Hispanics, so it's a nice blend. The story says that the Columbia rep showed up at the recording session w/ a metronome to "help" the musicians keep the beat!!! Well recorded, and a mix of jazz, tropical and some *very* heavy duty salsa. Totally recommended as a starting point. Their next album was "Spanish Fever", also on Columbia. Also an excellent dual market project.

On these albums you'll hear singers and players from the above list. Then pick up what you like best. There's a whole lot more to this than the "Buena Vista Social Club".

Just remember most of that crossover stuff if sold in a *predigested* form...and that's why it sells.
Any more sugestions? Particularly albums?
I find Bebo De Cuba's albums to be quite satisfying.
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Absolute Quintet-Dafnis Prieto (fabulous drummer)
Michel Camillo
Tony Martinez
Carribbean Jazz Project.