In collaboration with Cortijo y Su Combo, the Tommy Olivencia band and El Gran Combo - the latter, the result of the break up of the first band mentioned here -, la Sonora Ponceña completes the quartet of the most influential orchestral ensembles in the field of Caribbean music, especially as it pertains to salsa, on an international level during the last half century. ...MORE >
In collaboration with Cortijo y Su Combo, the Tommy Olivencia band and El Gran Combo - the latter, the result of the break up of the first band mentioned here -, la Sonora Ponceña completes the quartet of the most influential orchestral ensembles in the field of Caribbean music, especially as it pertains to salsa, on an international level during the last half century.
La Sonora Ponceña and Cortijo y Su Combo share a very distinctive fact: both bands emerged in April of 1954. Without a doubt this was a glorious moment in the history of Antillean music, since in exactly that same month and year, to the pride of Puerto Ricans, another group also appeared among the top ten emblematic ensembles: the brilliant saxophonist Ángel Lito Peña´s Orquesta Panamericana.
However, in these liner notes we will confine ourselves to talking about that which the virtuoso pianist and arranger Enrique Arsenio Lucca Quiñones or, more simply known as Papo Lucca, to salsa fanatics, directed over the past 39 years: the incomparable Sonora Ponceña. A lot has been written about this band that, above any other group, musical or otherwise, is the pride and joy of the natives of the majestic city (Ponce, Puerto Rico).
The millions of followers who have been won over in America, Europe, Africa and Japan know the history of it’s beginnings very well. They even identify the band when it was known as Cuarteto Internacional and Conjunto Internacional, led by the guitarist Enrique Quique Lucca Caraballo, a musician whose musical talent was formed on the street, but is very visionary. A fervent enthusiast of the styles of la Sonora Matancera and of Arsenio Rodríguez´s band, styles that became evident – especially the style of the Ciego Maravilloso (Arsenio Rodriguez) - during the first years after forming the band, that always powerfully projected itself. Their own style developed along the way. Papo, who had joined the band at the young age of 11 years old, played an important role in this aspect.
Needless to say, it is important to remember some significant facts about la Sonora Ponceña. For example, after a couple of years developing their career exclusively in the southern region of Puerto Rico, they performed their first shows in San Juan, in 1956, though not in dance halls, rather in the televised programs Del Brazo con Ruth Fernández on Telemundo / Channel 2 and two days later, on Telefiesta de la tarde (later on renamed El Show del Mediodía on WAPA TV / Channel 4.
In 1960, once they had traveled all over Puerto Rico, they left their homeland for the first time, when they were contracted to perform in New York. During their visit to the big city, they appeared at La Campana Night Club, the Manhattan Center, el Club Caborrojeño, el Club Hijos de Ponce and the legendary Teatro Puerto Rico. A decade would pass before they would return to that metropolis (1969), but ever since then their visits to the World Capital (New York) were constant and, from then on, the main party destinations around the world clamored for them.
The following album we present to you here, “Hacheros Pa’Un Palo”, originally edited in 1967, won la Sonora Ponceña their first gold record, representing a production that opened the doors to the international marketplace. The repetoire consists of the following selections, within which the voices of Luigi Texidor and Tito Gómez shine: “Africa”, “Amor Verdadero”, “La Bien Paga”, “Ña ña”, “Perdóname”, “Se Formó La Rumba”, “Tiempo Y Distancia” and those that represented the three great hits of that time, “Franqueza” (the original version by Consuelo Velázquez); “Paño De Lágrimas” (a bolero written by Luigi but sung by Tito) and the title song of the record, that bears the sign of the great Arsenio Rodríguez.
“Hacheros Pa’Un Palo” is considered a salsa classic today, an essential part of any salsa lover´s collection.
Enrique A. “Papo” Lucca Quiñones – Piano
Carmelo Rivera - Trumpet
Joe Rodríguez - Trumpet
Ramón A. “Tony” “El Cordobés” Rodríguez - Trumpet
Miguel Ortiz - Timbal
Félix Torres - Congas
Francisco “Chalina” Alvarado - Bongo
Antonio “Tato” Santaella – Bass
Lead Singers - Luis Guillermo “Luigi” Texidor, Humberto “Tito” Gómez
Director - Enrique “Quique” Lucca Caraballo
Musical Director - Enrique A. “Papo” Lucca Quiñones
Original Album Photograph – Ed Fernandez