The Fania catalogue is known all over the world as the definitive treasure trove of Afro-Caribbean music - a library of epic proportions that includes hundreds of timeless albums. What many people don't know, however, is that the vaults of Fania also contain dozens of rare recordings that have yet to see the light of day.
Beginning a long standing effort to finally make the entire contents of its catalogue available, Fania is releasing a stunning recording of Rubén Blades and Willie Colón in concert, taped in 1980 at New Jersey's Capitol Theatre.
At the time, Blades and Colón were touring to promote Siembra - considered by many as Blades' magnum opus. The sonics of the original tapes are clear and warm, making this release one of the most exciting live albums in the annals of salsa.
The majority of the Siembra album was performed during that evening - including a raucous extended version of "Buscando Guayaba," and a superb reading of the mega-hit "Pedro Navaja." Fans of the leaner, highly atmospheric Metiendo Mano will be delighted to know that Blades and Colón chose to include two tracks off that LP: "Plantación Adentro," as well as the socially aware anthem "Pablo Pueblo."
Plus, here is our Fania.com exclusive T-Shirt to commemorate this unique recording and what Siembra means to all of us. Click on the picture for details:
We are giving away THREE copies of the Siembra Special Edition CD. For a chance to win, answer the following trivia questions before Friday, June 18th by noon ET. For studious salseros only!
We are so excited of presenting this epic recording from Willie Colón and Rubén Blades. It will be available on CD and digital format at Fania.com, ITunes, Amazon and your local store by June, 8th.
On the evening of March 22, 1980, Rubén Blades and Willie Colón performed a set of smoldering salsa hits at the Capitol Theatre in New Jersey . Their performance, found recently in the vaults of the Fania label, makes for one of the most transcendental concert recordings in the history of salsa.
Blades and Colón are in their prime here. Five of the seven tracks here are culled from Siembra: "Plástico," "Buscando Guayaba," "Dime," "Ojos," and, of course, "Pedro Navaja." The other two are the best known songs off Metiendo Mano, Blades' debut with Willie Colón: "Pablo Pueblo" and "Plantación Adentro."
During the '70s, Fania was notorious for assembling the most talented Latin musicians of the time under one label - and the band that accompanies Rubén on this concert is a conglomerate of legends: Salvador Cuevas on bass; "el profesor" Joe Torres on piano; Lewis Kahn, Leopoldo Pineda and José Rodrigues on trombones; and Johnny Almendra on timbales.
At the time of this recording, the partnership between Blades and Colón was blossoming. Speaking to the audience, Blades can be heard teasing Colón, asking if the song that they were playing next was "Che Che Colé" - one of the hits that the trombonist enjoyed with his other musical partner in crime, the great Héctor Lavoe.
Of the seven tracks on this CD, "Pedro Navaja" is the only one that was also included in Rubén's previous concert album. As you listen to this historic recording from the Fania vaults, you will inevitably begin to consider that perhaps the live versions of these songs are better than the original studio sessions.
Here are some pictures from the last Salsa party from Rice & Beans Sound System. After their last party at Camarada’s in the Spanish Harlem (NYC), these party starters and dj’s made it back in time to Orlando to celebrated Willie Colon & Ruben Blades “Siembra” reissue with another party in the downtown area. Salsa music lovers, dancers and friends gathered for a night full of good times. We missed not being there to dance to “Pedro Navaja”. At least, we were glad of providing Rice and Beans with some Siembra CD giveaways to share with their friends. Fania will keep supporting events like this one in cities across the country because we love to see you dance!
Check out Rice & Beans in facebook and enjoy these pictures.
Keep coming back to the Fania news sections to find out about new parties near you.
Click HERE for more pictures!!