El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico

Unity

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El Gran Combo entered the 1980s on a high note with Unity, one of the many five-star albums the Puerto Rican outfit has recorded over the years. By 1980, El Gran Combo had long since earned a reputation for being one of Puerto Rico's most dependable, hard swinging salsa units -- and the band lives up to its fine reputation on such exuberant, infectious cuts as "Panquelero," "El Licor de Tu Boquita," "De Todo Un Poco," and "Pico Pico." The latter, written by Perin Vazquez, is an ode to Puerto Rico and underscores El Gran Combo's heritage -- salsa experts will tell you that the unit is a Puerto Rican institution, although it's important to remember that salsa/Afro-Cuban music originated in Cuba. From the heartfelt vocals of Jerry Rivas and Charlie Aponte to El Gran Combo's tight horn section and its first-class percussionists, all of the pieces fall into place perfectly on this excellent LP.

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