Willie Colón, a name that goes hand in hand with the Afro-Caribbean genre we all know as salsa, has always been surrounded by success. One of the most famous salsa icons, Colón is also one of the most loved and admired. ...MORE >
Willie Colón, a name that goes hand in hand with the Afro-Caribbean genre we all know as salsa, has always been surrounded by success. One of the most famous salsa icons, Colón is also one of the most loved and admired.
From his beginnings as a New York City youth, Colón – who gave himself the nickname “El Malo” – was acknowledged along with Héctor LaVoe as one of the driving forces of salsa. With hits like “Juana Peña,” “Abuelita,” “Barrunto,” “Jazzy,” “Señora Lola,” “Titán,” “Ausencia,” “Sonero Mayor,” “Tú no puedes,” “Ya llegó,” “Calle Luna, Calle Sol,” “Todo tiene su final,” “Barrunto,” and “Guisando,” to name only a few of the hundreds of hits that burst across the radio waves of the salsa world, Willie Colón became a veritable idol. His Christmas albums, “Asalto Navideño I and II” have generated the highest sales in the history of the Fania label, selling more than one million copies each. In short, the orchestra that Tito Puente once called “a band of babies” rose to fame with the adoration of music lovers around the world.
Colón never rested on his laurels. He began studying his instrument with fervor, becoming a great trombonist and learning to play the valve trombone. Reflecting on his musical journey, Willie realized that his career alongside Héctor LaVoe had become so successful that musically, they no longer had anything to prove. It was at that moment that Willie embarked on the second stage of his musical career, pairing up with an unknown singer-songwriter who worked in the mailroom at Fania Records: Rubén Blades.
Alongside Blades, Colon’s career reached a new level, both musically and intellectually. The second musical phase of the trombonist’s career sparked his interest in the political and social issues of the Latin American people. This new interest led him to new achievements in community service. Once he felt his work with Blades was finished, Willie was ready to make another musical decision.
This decision marked the beginning of the third stage of Colón’s musical career. This time, the musician decided to embark on a solo career, something he had only done in a limited capacity in the past.
Colón deftly takes on the challenge in this album, “Fantasmas.” The album was released in 1981, during the period known as Romantic Salsa, and gave the trombonist a musical vehicle with which to explore his new interests. Once again, the musician demonstrated his talents with a new musical success.
With numbers like “Oh que será” by Chico Buarque, “Sueño de papelote” by Eladia Blázquez, “Amor verdadero” by Eddy Grant, and “Volar a Puerto Rico” by Willie himself, Colón made the transition to the romantic era, and had four hits on the radio play lists, confirming once again that he was a star in the world of salsa.
The album is rounded off with songs such as “Mi sueño” by Martinho Da Vila, and Willie’s own numbers, “Celo,” “Al dormir,” and “Toma mis manos.”
Without a doubt, Willie Colón has been one of the most successful musicians in the history of salsa. He achieved fame and fortune, and his musical career led him down the path of political action, turning him into a social leader. This compact disc, a faithful copy of the original extended album, captures the third stage of Willie Colón’s career. This is a unique, different Willie than the Willie you knew before, but it is undoubtedly a more refined Willie, one of indisputable quality.
Against a historical backdrop, this album presents a mature musician who, from his humble beginnings in New York, has become one of the most famous artists in salsa.
Arrangements Al Dormir, Sueno De Papelote - Jorge Calandrelli
Arrangements Toma Mis Manos – Luis Cruz
Arrangements Amor Verdadero, Oh Que Sera, Mi Sueno – Hector Garrido
Arrangements Volar A Puerto Rico, Celo – Marty Sheller
Leopoldo Pineda – Trombone
Lewis Kahn – Trombone
Sam Burtis – Trombone
Jose Torres – Piano
Jorge Calandrelli – Piano Al Dormir, Papelote
Salvador Cuevas – Bass
Milton Cardona – Tumba, Quinto, Chequere, Surdo, Claves
Jose Mangual – Bongo, Maracas, Giro, guirra
Johnny Almendra – Timbales
Willie Colon – Synthecizer
Yomo Toro – Cuatro
Paul Kimbarrow – Drums
Harold Kahon – Strings
Vocal Arrangements - Hector Garrido
Male Chorus - Ruben Blades, Milton Cardona, Willie Colon, Jose Mangual
Female Chorus – Doris Eugenio, Sandy Mangual, Nancy O’Neil, Encarnación Perez (Mi Sueno)
Female Chorus - Damaris Cortez y Doris Eugenio (Toma Mis Manos), Yvonne (Amor Verdadero, O Que Sera, Volar a Puerto Rico)
Engineer: Jon Fausty
Re-mixing: Willie Colon & Jon Fausty
Art Director: Terry Borges
Original album design: Ron Levine
Photography: Frank Kolleogy
Produced by: Willie Colon
Executive Producer: Jerry Masucci
Associate Producer: Fabian Ross
Recorded at: La Tierra Studios
Re-mixed at: Latin Sound Studios