La Playa Sextet

Vaya Means Go!

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Vaya Means Go! is La Playa in their prime, combining the same recording facilities (and many of the same personnel, also associated with Eddie Palmieri) as the classic Tito Rodriguez albums of the period. Rhythms range from mambo, son montuna, bomba, guaguanco, and bolero to more adventurous blends. "Twist and Shout" is Latin rock but not as hip as their Champs-ish sound on Musicor. "Sugar's Delight," the Ray Barretto tune, is one of those mambo-jazz experiments often tried for just one selection on old Latin dance-band albums. The liners make note of the addition of electric bass, but as always, it is the guitar that most distinguishes the La Playa sound. Vaya is distinguished by the clear joy that this always-progressive sextet has as they present primordial salsa, particularly in the bomba "Salsa," which ends cheekily in the exultation of the title itself. Not slowed by anything fantastic or sluggish, Vaya simply "goes" infectiously, from start to finish, uptempo.

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