Johnny Rivera

Johnny Rivera and the Tequila Brass

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Sure, Johnny Rivera and the Tequila Brass is just another boogaloo album, one of hundreds released during the late '60s. It's definitely near the top of the pack, though -- the sounds of this excellent group have the power of a rock band but also the vicious swing of the best Latin bands, thanks to the tight combination of brothers Winston and Manuel Tormos on bass and guitar, respectively. Trombonists Wilfredo Vazquez and Robert Roldan get some great action too, especially during the breakdown of the second track, "Boogaloo Que la Traigo." As usual for LPs from the Cotique/Tico/Fania label around this time, the playing is much better than the songs themselves; a few of the novelty crossover efforts ("You Gotta Have Soul," "I Can't Sit Down") just sound misguided.

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