Larry Harlow

Greatest Hits

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One of the frequently hidden gems behind the rise of Fania as Latin music's label extraordinaire in the late '60s and early '70s, Larry Harlow served as producer for countless Fania LPs, musical director of the Fania All-Stars, and of course, captain of his own Orchestra Harlow, which sailed along with the expertise of many great musicians and at least one of the greatest soneros of all time, Ismael Miranda. Additionally, during a very turbulent decade for Latin music, Harlow had a foot in both traditionalist and contemporary camps: he recorded an impressive Latin opera that was performed at Carnegie Hall but he worshipped the great tres player Arsenio Rodriguez and recorded an album-length tribute after his death. Fania's Greatest Hits is a full yet not very rich tribute to Harlow's years at Fania, covering his sophisticated '70s material such as Tribute to Arsenio Rodriguez and Hommy, A Latin Opera but ignoring his innovative '60s recordings, when his Orchestra Harlow was one of the grooviest boogaloo cum salsa bands on the planet. If your idea of salsa is the sunglass shine and suited slickness of the mid-'70s, then this one is just for you; however, if you prefer the flared pants and loose-limbed salsa of the '60s, it's best to look elsewhere.

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