Various Artists

The Bad Boogaloo: The Nu Yorican Sounds 1966-1970

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No one could have guessed that the crossover success enjoyed by Latin bandleaders Ray Barretto and Mongo Santamaria early in the '60s was going to pave the way for a parade of artists later in the decade. Mixing pop, jazz, and soul with plenty of Latin flavor, they recorded some of the most moving -- literally -- tracks of the early Aquarian age for a variety of labels later gathered under the Fania umbrella: Cotique, Tico, Alegre, and of course, Fania itself. The Bad Boogaloo: Nu Yorican Sounds 1966-1970 certainly isn't the first to chart the same territory (check Broasted or Fried and Nu Yorican Salsa Experience to start with), but it digs a little deeper than the rest, with great results. For instance, none of the boogaloo hits of the '60s appear here, although many of the artists are represented with great work (including Barretto, Joe Cuba, and Johnny Colon). Secondly, the obscure or left-field come through with excellent material, including Lenni Sesar's scorching "Morris Park" and an instrumental called "Happy Soul with a Hook" by Dave Cortez (who earlier in the '60s had a hit with "The Happy Organ").

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