Taking a bold step forward in bringing the Fania sound into the new millennium, we are releasing an ambitious double-disc collection that re-imagines and reinvents the New York salsa explosion of the '70s for a younger generation of listeners.
Released this month to unanimous critical acclaim, Hammock House - Africa Caribe is a lush, two-CD collection created especially for Fania by legendary house DJ and producer Joaquín 'Joe' Claussell. His one-of-a-kind vision was to reconstruct and reimagine a solid collection of seminal Afro-Caribbean nuggets using the original multi-track tapes, adding new instruments, re-arranging melodies and beats. This incredible fusion of Afro roots and electronica, Africa Caribe combines musical preservation with a fresh new aesthetic.
"Yet again, this is another musical mirth that never becomes tiresome on the ears," says Amy Cunningham from Sounds And Colours. "In fact, its sheer level of production as well as complex and carefully considered use of styles and sounds gets even better the more you open your ears to Claussell’s legendary skills."
"Joaquín did a great selection of deep, Afro-Latin jazzy Soul," enthuses Juan Data on the acclaimed music blog The Hard Data. "The house grooves are subtle and smooth."
Claussell himself describes the handing over of the Fania tapes as an "Indiana Jones moment", the discovery of a precious sonic artifact that, in the span of a year, he would turn into a new album. “We use to jam all the time to this music at home. To be part of it now, to watch Fania labels spin on records in front of me, blows my mind.”
The first CD of Africa Caribe delivers a breathtaking, continuous piece of music that Claussell created in real time using four CD decks and various studio effects. This mixed CD delivers a unique and soulful musical journey from Africa to Harlem with a stop in the Caribbean along the way.
The legendary DJ/producer selections are awesome: the Willie Colón and Rubén Blades mega-hit "Siembra" has been enhanced with a pumping house beat and organs that will surely peak dance floors around the world. A no-frills "Changó" distills the Afro essence of Celia Cruz's vocalizing. Mongo Santamaría's "O Mi Shangó" shines as the masterpiece of funk that it was meant to be. And the original track "Undeniable Love" with singer Jaidene 'Jai' Veda showcases the ever youthful Fania sound, as it continues to blossom in the year 2011.
The collection's second CD includes sprawling single versions of the nine strongest cuts featured in the original mix. Fania aficionados will have fun studying both versions, analyzing the science in Claussell's art.
Africa Caribe is available both as a physical CD and digital download. We recommend getting the CD version, since it includes a lavish booklet with an essay written by Andy Battaglia, as well as track-by-track commentary by Claussell himself.
A new jewel in the Fania crown, and the beginning of an exciting new direction for the label.
To many Latin music aficionados, Tito Puente represents the very essence of Afro-Caribbean swing. The timbalero and bandleader, who passed away in the year 2000 at age 77, recorded over 100 albums exploring every possible style and format within the tropical genre.
Now, Fania is proud to release a single disc distillation of Tito's monumental opus - a Greatest Hits collection that contains some of the man's most memorable moments: from the ubiquitous "Oye Como Va" in its original version with Santitos Colón on vocals, to such dancers' favorites as "Picadillo," "Mambo Diablo" and "Ran Kan Kan."
The compilation is based mostly on the great albums that Puente recorded for the Tico label during the '60s and '70s. Besides the authentic Afro-Cuban bravado of Santitos Colón's vocals, the collection illustrates Puente's uncanny talent to surround himself with memorable singers: Panamanian sonero Meñique on a timeless "Para Los Rumberos," a Latinized "Crystal Blue Persuasion" with Puerto Rico's Sophy, and a rare duet between Santitos Colón and Cuban diva and longtime Puente collaborator La Lupe on "Cómo Está Miguel."
Puente grew up in New York, hopelessly in love with both mainstream American jazz and Cuban dance music. During the '50s, he established himself in the local music scene performing lush arrangements of mambos and cha cha chas. He also brought the timbales to the front to the stage, shining as a showman with elaborate dance routines and dizzying solos. Throughout the years, he assimilated new musical trends with abandon: from bossa nova and funk to boogaloo and salsa romántica. Fittingly, Greatest Hits includes his velvety version of the bossa classic "Desafinado."
Greatest Hits is available for purchase on both CD and as a digital download.
Fania's prestigious "Man & His Music" series has already paid tribute to two of the three major musical figures of the pre-salsa era known as "The Big 3': Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez. A third bandleader was missing - one of Latin music's most underrated artists and the man who Tito Puente himself called "el maestro." Now, with the release of the two-CD set "El Padrino", it's time to rediscover the music of Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo, the incomparable Machito.
Raised in Havana with his sister, powerhouse vocalista Graciela, Machito moved to New York and gained fame at the Palladium night club performing a stunning array of sinuous cha cha chas, electrifying mambos and torrid boleros. In later decades, he ventured into bossa nova, Latin soul and straight-ahead salsa. And unlike the majority of tropical vocalists, Machito sang both coros and inspiraciones, verses and choruses within the same tune.Known for his bonhomie and infectious sense of humor, Machito left behind dozens of excellent albums. His output for the Tico label during the '50s and '60s was particularly prolific. The 44 tracks on these two CDs include such memorable Afro-Caribbean nuggets as "Yo Soy La Rumba," "Azulito," the Cuban classic "Guantanamera," as well as the sexually daring "Sí Sí, No No," a major hit in New York thanks to Graciela's provocative vocalizing.
"El Padrino", from the prestigious Man & His Music series, will be available for purchase on both CD and digital download on April 5th, 2011.
Fania Records announced today a new association with award winning actor John Leguizamo and WestBeth Entertainment. The CD, titled "Ghetto Klown - Music From My Hood", will be curated by Leguizamo will include tracks from the famed Latin music label and will be accompanied by a booklet with liner notes and photos.
This production will be released in conjunction with John Leguizamo’s return to Broadway for his new show titled “Ghetto Klown”. The show, conceived and performed by Emmy and Obie Award winner John Leguizamo, will be playing at the Lyceum Theater in Manhattan with previews on January 21st – February 21st and opening night on March 22, 2011, under the direction of Academy Award winner Fisher Stevens and presented by WestBeth Entertainment, Daveed D. Frazier and Nelle Nugent. The CD will be available at the show and released in traditional music retail channels in March.
"I am honored to be able to collaborate with the legendary label and re-visit all my favorite classics," said Leguizamo. "It is a dream to create my own compilation with the songs I grew up with and were an inspiration for all my shows."
About Ghetto Klown
Ghetto Klown is the next chapter in John Leguizamo’s hugely popular personal and professional story. It follows in the unabashed, uncensored, and uninhibited tradition of his Mambo Mouth, Spic-O-Rama, Freak, and Sexaholix…a Love Story. In Leguizamo’s trademark style, the piece explodes with energy, leading audiences on a fever-pitch adventure and heating up the stage with vivid accounts of where he’s been and the colorful characters who have populated his life. Leguizamo takes audiences from his adolescent memories in Queens to the early days of his acting career during the outrageous 80s avant-garde theatre scene, and on to the sets of major motion pictures and his roles opposite some of Hollywood's biggest stars.
To follow “Ghetto Klown" visit: