Kako

Sock It to Me Latino

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Though not as well known as some of his fellow bandleader/percussionists like Ray Barretto or Tito Puente, Kako was one of New York salsa's favorite bandleaders. Having performed alongside many of the greats, like Mongo Santamaria and Arsenio Rodriguez, hints at his pedigree, though this is also immediately evident in his tasteful timbale soloing and imaginative use of folkloric grooves. Recorded for Alegre, the label that also occasionally employed Kako as an exec, Sock It to Me Latino features famed vocalists Cheo Feliciano and Bobby Marin among others. Though not his most star-enriched project, this 1970 release packs plenty of punch. Sock It to Me Latino exemplifies the sound of that golden era that bridged the mambo madness of the '50s and '60s to the New York salsa explosion of the '70s. While more complex and richly authentic in its sound than the jazz sensibilities of the mambo era, and yet maintaining the stripped-down charm of pre-Fania salsa, Sock It to Me Latino and many other records from the same time period capture a purity and charm not found before or since.

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