If there is one key thing that stands out in the re-mastered series that Emusica has held for the past three years is that there are many re-issues of lesser-known acts that should have received better recognition during their initial releases. ...MORE >
If there is one key thing that stands out in the re-mastered series that Emusica has held for the past three years is that there are many re-issues of lesser-known acts that should have received better recognition during their initial releases.
One such artist is conguero/flautist Julio Castro who was a journeyman in Puerto Rican bands until his first recording in the late 1970’s on the newly formed New Generation label from Puerto Rico (it was the label’s second recording), produced by corista/composer Ramón Rodríguez (later co-leader of Conjunto Clásico). Castro was the musical director as he has done on all of his recordings. With vocalist Humberto Tito Nieves—just before joining Ramón Rodríguez to form Clásico with Ray Castro, the group scored a huge hit called El Pregonero (an Eric Figueroa arrangement written by Rodríguez) that would end up being the Clásico sound.
Jerry Masucci, always quick to take full advantage of these situations, signed him to the Fania label where in 1980 he began to produce his own recordings beginning with Mamey—a song with an all-star line-up that included superb horns in Juancito Torres, Ray González, Charlie Sepulveda, Eddie Feyjoo and others. Again the band scored with the hits Rumba Sin Invitados, Celoso and Tambores De Guerra.
By 1984, Castro recruited Néstor Sánchez to handle the lead vocals on his next project Julio Castro y La Masacre.
The project opens up with “Sere Triunfador”, which acted as a message to the constant retractors that his aim was to succeed in life as a musician and producer. Sánchez shows his unique vocal talent throughout the recording and is recognized as one of the best voices to have his start in the bands of Ray Rodríguez and La Protesta de Tony Pabón.
The song “Los Negros De La Central” speaks of all the local characters who were also slave sugar cane cutters hoping to gain their freedom as they worked from sunrise to sunset.
“Incertidumbre” and “Feliz, Infeliz” swing as they lead you to the hit of the recording “Colonizaciones” written by Johnny Ortíz, who was beginning to make a name for himself as a composer. This tune tells the story of Christopher Columbus’ ships arriving in the island of Puerto Rico and the aftermath that later ensued.
“No Hagan Caso” is the age-old story of a man asking his love not to listen to the lies others tell about him, while Johnny Ortíz’ “Casita Solar” ends the recording on a high note.
All in all this release is a classic vintage Salsa recording that sounds better than ever!
Lead Vocal – Nestor Sanchez
Producer – Julio Castro
Executive Producer – Jerry Masucci
Musical Director – Julio Castro
Original Album Cover Illustration and Design – Kari Brayman