Al Escobar moved from Barranquilla, Columbia to New York City at a young age. After working with Tito Puente, Miguelito Valdes, and Vicentico Valdes, he led his own band in California, became musical director for Eartha Kitt, and played at the Stardust in Las Vegas. El Sonido Moderno de Al Escobar was recorded in New York City and is part of that city's boogaloo (Latin soul) craze of the late 1960s. The album also includes rock covers, bossa nova, and pachanga, but the overall sound is New York Latin soul. Notable tracks include "Guajira Controversial" and the original "Ape Walk," which supposedly is the name of a dance Escobar originated. Within the "Medley" there also is a break into "I Like it Like That." Unfortunately, the cover of "Tighten Up" is uninspired.
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AllMusic Review by Tony Wilds