Tuesday June 22 2010, 11:55:24 AM | Posted by FaniaDigital
It is unthinkable that the third album by one of the most beloved salsa outfits of all time would have been overlooked for so long. La Sonora Ponceña’s first two LPs, Hacheros Pa’ un Palo (1968) and Fuego en el 23 (1969), were bona fide hits and established a powerhouse sound based around the virtuosic piano of their leader Papo Lucca and a full-bodied percussion section that laid a propulsive bed for an ever-winding harmonic convergence of trumpets with the piano and vocals. After a two-year break, Papo and his band of merry men came back with a vengeance.
La Sonora Ponceña was originally founded by Papo’s father, Don Enrique “Quique” Lucca Caraballo, in 1954 from the ashes of his earlier band Conjunto Internacional (aka Orquesta Internacional). The concept of having a horn section made up completely of trumpets was lifted from one of Quique’s favorite Cuban groups, La Sonora Matancera.
The not-so-secret ingredient in the mix was Quique’s son, Enrique “Papo” Lucca Jr. Born in 1946. Papo would record his first piano solo at the age of twelve as a guest artist with La Sonora Ponceña as they were the backing band for popular vocalists Felipe Rodriguez and Davilita on the album Al Cómpas de las Sonoras. Two years later, he stepped in as a full-time member of the band.
By 1968, Papo had taken over as musical director of the band while his father kept his hand in as director, and they soon inked a deal with Inca Records—a partnership that lasted for over thirty albums. The group was on a roll by the time they made their third album. As with their earlier recordings, the sound is raw, a mix of old-school styles with a flair for improvisation. The trumpet and rhythm sections form a well-oiled machine, while the lead singers, Luis Guillermo “Luigui” Texidor Ortiz and Humberto “Tito” Gómez, tread the line between youthful irreverence and respect for the past with great dexterity.
Larry Harlow had no idea who La Sonora Ponceña was when he came on as producer. “That was one of my first productions,” he says, “and I was kind of assigned that by Jerry Masucci.” But Harlow felt that they were kindred spirits, and even though the band was coming from Puerto Rico, he understood their deep-seated connection through the Cuban conjunto band model and immediately saw what a great player Papo Lucca was. “He had his own style of playing. He was an original!”
The band kicks off the album with the bombastic rumbon “Acere Ko,” a fast-paced party starter that was the big hit off of the album. Luigui Texidor belts it out over a furious barrage of trumpets and percussion. The band works their way through a few deep guaguancós and a simmering bolero before landing on the centerpieces of the album. The last cut on the first side, “Yemaya,” is a hot Afro-influenced paean to the powerful ocean mother. For the first third of the song, the somber, rocking beat of the sea is held forth by Papo’s piano coupling onto the steady rhythm that the percussion section has laid down, as the tropical call of the trumpets floats over them. Then Papo signals the skies to open, and the track takes on a sunnier disposition as the group works itself into a frenzy.
Side two opens with “La Pobreza y Yo,” a muscular, sobering son montuno, before diving into the heart of the album, the masterful “Oye Mi Quinto.” This descarga guagauncó kicks off with a mesmerizing, extended interplay between the percussion section and vocalists. After a couple of minutes, Papo Lucca’s true genius shines through as he leads the band through a series of deft changes in a complex and satisfying arrangement.
“They were a simple, easy band to produce, because it was just trumpets,” Harlow recalls. “They were a good band, very well rehearsed, because they played every day in Puerto Rico and they had been playing those songs for a while before they went into the studio.”
Harlow noticed the young Papo watching him behind the mixing board and took him under his wing. “I kind of tutored him in the studio. I taught him about sound waves and frequencies and things like that. He picked up production pretty quickly, and in a couple of years, he became a pretty good producer himself.”
Liner notes by Robbie Busch
Click on the album cover to learn more about this release. Now available in CD and MP3 at fania.com.
Wednesday June 16 2010, 08:21:00 AM | Posted by FaniaDigital
Estas son algunas fotos del “Tributo a Fania de parte de los Dj’s “con djs internacionales como Bobbito García, Sake 1 y Laylo. El evento tuvo lugar hace unos días atras en el Central Park Summer Stage (Nueva York) en una tarde con un clima perfecto para bailar ritmos tropicales.
Estas imágenes hablan por sí mismas sobre el gran ambiente durante el evento. Es tan sorprendente ver cuántas personas se reunieron para divertirse y escuchar la música de Fania. Dj Bobbito y Sake One han estado haciendo homenajes a Fania Records durante años. Pendiente a los próximos!
Wednesday June 16 2010, 07:57:53 AM | Posted by FaniaDigital
Here are some great pictures from “A Dj Tribute To Fania Records” with international dj Bobbito Garcia, Sake 1& Laylo. The event took place few days ago at Central Park Summer Stage (NYC) on an afternoon with perfect weather to dance to Tropical beats.
These pictures speak by themselves about the great vibe during the event. It is so amazing to see how many people gathered together to have fun and listen to the dj’s spinning Fania music. Dj Bobbito and Sake One have been doing tributes to Fania records for years and keep your ears open for the next one!
Wednesday June 16 2010, 07:08:12 AM | Posted by FaniaDigital
Willie Colon just e-mailed us this video and this is what Mr. Colon has to say: “When you have 6 minutes and 11 seconds please take a look at this photomontage a fan did over my Nueva York song”. That’s exactly what we did and now we are sharing it with you to enjoy it, as much as, we have done.
Friday June 11 2010, 08:22:16 AM | Posted by FaniaDigital
DJ de clase mundial y reconocido productor musical, Joe Claussell ha conseguido su manos uno de los mejores temas clásicos de Fania, la canción – “Siembra”, de Rubén Blades y Wille Colón. Siendo respetuoso con el tema original, Joe le ha dado el toque perfecto para hacer bailar a la gente este verano.
Joe Claussell remix está incluido en el cd Siembra - Edición Especial, que además de las canciones originales de esta obra maestra, incluye himnos como "Pedro Navaja" y "Plástico". También hemos incluido material inédito en esta edición especial. Los comentarios discográficos son en inglés y español además de imágenes de las sección de grabación original en un libro de 28 paginas.
Pincha aquí para comprar CD y descargas digitales, incluyendo WAV, FLAC y MP3 de alta calidad.
Friday June 11 2010, 07:42:37 AM | Posted by FaniaDigital
World class DJ and renown music producer, Joe Claussell has gotten his hands on one of the top Fania classic tracks, the epic track, “Siembra,” from Ruben Blades & Wille Colon. While being respectful to the original track, Joe has given it the perfect twist to make people dance this summer.
Joe Claussell’s remix is included in the Siembra – Special Edition release, which besides the original tracks from this masterpiece includes anthems like “Pedro Navaja” and “Plastico.” We’ve also included previously unreleased material to this special edition release. The liner notes are in both English and Spanish alongside original recording session pictures in the 28-page booklet.
Click HERE to purchase the CD and digital downloads including Wav, Flac and high-quality MP3.