Manny Oquendo

Manny Oquendo y su Conjunto Libre

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This excellent compilation of the top New York salsa bands of the '70s includes some of the material (originally recorded for the Salsoul Records) that made the band a household name. The "modernized" conjunto format shows the ability of bandleaders Manny Oquendo and Andy González pushing this outfit with unparalleled skill, careful choice of material, and talented sidemen with incredible improvisational skills. "Goza la Vida," "Que Humanidad," "No Me Echen la Culpa," "Lo Que Se Da No Se Quita," and "¿Por Que Tu Sufres?" are tunes that still sound amazing and do not seem to show age. A worthy collection, but these marvelous recordings merit a full reissue; for now, it is a good way to start with the likes of this formidable outfit.

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