Johnny Pacheco

Champ

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    6
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A driving set of high-energy salsa, Champ hardly sounds as though Johnny Pacheco is resting on his laurels, as he does on the cover with cigar and Remy Martin. His crack band whips through the arrangements, racing at a breakneck tempo for "Amarra el Perro" (by upcoming merengue great Wilfrido Vargas), but displaying a solid sense of rhythm and flair on more traditional salsa material ("Primoroso Cantar" or "Viralo al Reves," both by Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez). Johnny Pacheco get saluted in his own fashion with a tribute composition, Luis Silva's "Pacheco y su Tumbao."

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