Ray Barretto

Señor 007

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The kind of wrongheaded gimmick record that works brilliantly almost in spite of itself, Ray Barretto's Señor 007 cashes in on the craze for all things James Bond by recasting composer John Barry's intrigue-laden themes as hard-driving Latin jazz groovers. Barretto's bold, widescreen arrangements and punishing rhythms ratchet the music's intensity to new levels while also expanding the potent sensuality implicit in Barry's compositions. Familiar melodies like "Goldfinger," "Thunderball," and the ubiquitous "James Bond Theme" seem fresh and new all over again -- and the cover, complete with Barretto in a classic espionage tableau, is alone worth the price of admission.

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