At its best, boogaloo was the most propulsive and exciting dance form of the '60s, a swinging and jiving blend of early salsa and R&B, just the right music to get down to in your favorite club or right there on the sun-scorched pavement. After its moment in the sun, however, it soon gave way to harder and tighter dances (on both the Latin and R&B sides) like salsa and smooth soul. With plenty of boogaloo fans still keeping the faith, both among DJs and labels, it would've been easy to think that all of the best had already been heard, but on Long Live Boogaloo Secret Stash from Minneapolis (of all places) shines a light on yet more great shots from Spanish Harlem in the mid- to late '60s. (Helping the cause here immeasurably is a roster of people who know boogaloo like Dave Marsh knows rock, people like Bobby Marin and Izzy Sanabria.) The track listing presumes that listeners have already heard most of the best boogaloo, so they spend time digging still deeper to uncover nuggets among artists both obscure and famous -- Manny Corchado's "Chicken and Booze," Johnny Rodriguez and Angel Rene's "Cookin' with A&J," and the two biggest names here, Willie Bobo ("Be's That Way") and Ray Barretto ("Pretty Mama," the highlight here although it's slotted last). All this and more make for one of the best packages of boogaloo this side of the Latino "Popcorn" Fever series.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by John Bush