The Latinaires are often associated with the boogaloo movement, the integration of soul vocal sensibilities and salsa instrumentals. Though they bear all the telltale markings of a boogaloo outfit -- their youth, their Bronx heritage, their mixed nationality, even their relationship with the Cotique label -- their music tells another story. The rich heritage that they honor on Like It Is is of a finer pedigree than the back-street mutt boogaloo. Though there are selections where the Latinaires experiment with R&B-contoured melodies and English-language lyrics, they are not true converts to the cause, like contemporaries the TnT Band or the Lat-Teens. They are not true believers. The all-saxophone horn lineup is churning and funky, and the lack of brass adds an interesting timbre that allows the vocalists to shine, not compete. Bandleader and pianist Louis Small is a confident, mature arranger as well as soloist. Sonero Ray Ramirez has a charming, smooth tenor that while youthful, confidently navigates the sometimes complex arrangements. The Latinaires are mature far beyond their years, and musically sophisticated far beyond the scope of their genre classification.
AllMusic Review by Evan C. Gutierrez