Willie Bobo

Spanish Grease

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    8
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One pass through the title cut and you know that Carlos Santana was listening. The easy R&B-Latin jazz shuffle on this Bobo original, with its mix of Spanish and English vocals, is an obvious touchstone of cuts like "Evil Ways" on Santana's first two albums. What a shame, then, that the rest of the record is primarily comprised of covers of pop hits of the day like "It's Not Unusual" (a vocal AND an instrumental version!) and "Our Day Will Come." The timbales player and his band lay down respectable grooves, but "Spanish Grease" is the only original on the album, and by far the most rewarding number. Spanish Grease has been combined with the 1966 LP Uno Dos Tres 1-2-3 on one CD reissue.

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