Since its inception 53 years ago, La Sonora Ponceña has maintained intact its infamous sabor sureño, or "Southern flavor." More than an international salsa icon, the orchestra created by guitarist Enrique Quique Lucca Caraballo stands as a symbol of Ponce, the Puerto Rican city also known as Ciudad Señorial (The Lordly City), Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South) and the island's primera capital musical (foremost musical capital). ...MORE >
Since its inception 53 years ago, La Sonora Ponceña has maintained intact its infamous sabor sureño, or "Southern flavor." More than an international salsa icon, the orchestra created by guitarist Enrique Quique Lucca Caraballo stands as a symbol of Ponce, the Puerto Rican city also known as Ciudad Señorial (The Lordly City), Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South) and the island's primera capital musical (foremost musical capital).
The band established itself as one of the genre's biggest names with the release of Hachero Pa’ Un Palo, a 1969 session produced by Larry Harlow. By that time, Papo Lucca – son of Don Quique and one of the most talented piano players and arrangers in Afro-Caribbean music – had taken over as La Sonora Ponceña's leader. The band boasted two extroardinary vocalists in Luigi Texidor and Tito Gómez.
Today, in 2007, La Ponceña plays sold-out venues wherever salsa continues to reign. The orchestra enjoys the prestige that it deserves considering the quality of its work. Its artistic peak, however, took place during the '70s and early '80s, when it released a generous amount of classic recordings for the Inca label, which was owned by Fania since 1975: Fuego en el 23 (1970); Navidad Criolla (1972); Algo De Locura (1973); De Puerto Rico a Nueva York and Tiene Pimienta (1975); Conquista Musical and El Gigante del Sur (1976); La Orquesta De Mi Tierra (1978); Celia Cruz y la Sonora Ponceña / La Ceiba (1979); Energized (1980); Determination (1982); Future (1984) and Jubilee (1985), among others.
Most of the Ponceña's timeless hits were vocalized by Texidor, aka El Negrito del Sabor, who was the most charismatic and ingenious sonero in the band's long history. Texidor remained with the group during 14 years (1963-1977), and was, together with Papo Lucca, the one performer that most fans identified with La Ponceña.
Born in Santa Isabel on January 20, 1935, Texidor led a gallery of stellar voices that were the envy of most other tropical orchestras at the time: Miguelito Ortiz – who had replaced Tito Gómez in 1972 – Yolanda Rivera, and Toñito Ledée, who died tragically in the late '80s.
The album that you hold in your hands is one of the key recordings from that fruitful era. Produced by Larry Harlow and released in 1975, “Sabor Sureño” includes the voices of both Texidor and Ortiz. Texidor contributes lead vocals to “Las Mujeres Son De Azúcar,” “La Llave Y La Cerradura” (by Francisco Chalina Alvarado, a former Ponceña member who continues writing songs for the orchestra to this day), “Telaraña,” “Lloré Y Reí,” and “Ecué Baroni.” Miguelito, on the other hand, debuts as a Ponceña singer with “Las Lenguas,” “La Vida Te Doy,” “Mi Corazón Que Te Amó,” “Si Fue Por Ti,” and, together with Luigi, “Juana Bayona.” It should be noted that besides including his customary piano playing, the track “Las Lenguas” also includes Papo Lucca on trumpet and Cuban tres.
Until the release of this album, Papo's orchestrations combined three trumpets as performed by Delfín Pérez, Ramón Antonio Tony El Cordobés Rodríguez, and Luis Rafael Cuchi Castro. A fourth trumpet was added to the ensemble on this occasion, played for eight years by Santa Isabel musician Santos Godineau. He was replaced in 1983 by Herminio Ayatollah Santiago.
Rounding up the orchestra were Antonio Tato Santaella on bass; Edgardo Morales on timbales; Fernando Torres on congas; and Félix Torres on bongo. The band was reinforced by the stunning voices of Yayo El Indio and Adalberto Santiago on coros and Junior Hommy González on maracas.
Dancing to “Sabor Sureño” is a delightful experience. This is a great album, presented to you with the added enhancement of digital remastering.
Enrique “Quique” Lucca – Leader
Enrique “Papo” Lucca– Piano, Vibes, Tres, Trumpet solo (“Las Lenguas”)
Delfín Pérez – Trumpet
Ramon A. “Tony El Cordobés” Rodríguez – Trumpet
Luis R. “Cuchy” Castro – Trumpet
Antonio “Tato” Santaella – Bass
Edgardo Morales – Timbales
Fernando Torres – Conga
Félix Torres – Bongo
Junior “Hommy” González – Maracas
Lead Vocals - Luis Guillermo “Luigui” Texidor & Miguel “Miguelito” Ortiz
Chorus - Adalberto Santiago, Eladio “Yayo El Indio” Peguero
Producer - Larry Harlow for Passing Clouds Music, Inc.
Recording Director - Enrique “Quique” Lucca
Recorded at - Good Vibrations Sound Studios
Engineer - Bernie Fox
Arrangements - Papo Lucca
Original Album Art and Design - Ron Levine, Steve Higgins