Ghetto Klown - Music From My Hood
Ghetto Klown - Music From My Hood
A companion piece to the Broadway show "Ghetto Klown," this electrifying compilation of timeless salsa hits finds actor, comedian and producer John Leguizamo selecting his favorite tracks from the Fania vaults. If anything, the resulting mix shows Leguizamo's deep understanding of the '70s salsa movement - a musical revolution that shaped his life. "My career as an artist is really a prism of all the influences that move me," he explains from his home in New York. "Salsa is very important to me. Some of those lyrics about growing up in the Spanish Harlem are a poignant reminder of the fact that the '70s was the coolest time for music in this city. I remember the lingo. The tracks on this album bring back many memories." The son of a Puerto Rican father and a Colombian mother, Leguizamo grew up in the U.S. from the age of four. But his parents made everything in their power to cherish their son's Latino heritage. "They had an unusual rewards system," he remembers with a laugh. "On Christmas, I could only open my presents if I read a book in Spanish first." Leguizamo's dream mix begins with the raucous "Estrellas De Fania" by the ultimate Afro-Caribbean supergroup, the Fania All Stars. "They're like a basketball dream team that goes to the Olympics," he enthuses. "The Fania All Stars remind me of the Justice League of superheroes, all of them getting together to fight one villain. You know these guys are having a great time playing together. It's almost like you're part of it. You're witnessing it." When it comes to female vocalists, Leguizamo showcases his superb musical taste by picking key tracks from Fania's two timeless divas: Celia Cruz's zesty "Químbara" and La Lupe's lush "Puro Teatro" - a composition by Puerto Rican master Tite Curet Alonso. "You've got to have La Lupe in there," he says. "I don't think people know her enough. I was introduced to her music by Frank Reyes, the director of the movie Empire. There's so much emotion and dissonance in her voice. I'm going to pretend that I'm a musician for a moment and tell you that I hear minor chords in her singing." Celia's "Químbara," recorded with Johnny Pacheco for the genre-defining 1974 album Celia & Johnny made a deep impression on Leguizamo. "The rhythm, the syncopation, the sheer power of her voice," he explains. "They elevate you. Suddenly, you feel that everything is going to be OK in your life. When I think of Celia, I always think of the incredible joy that's encapsulated in her songs." The actor honors his Puerto Rican roots by picking the crowd pleasing anthem "Mi Gente" by Héctor Lavoe - the quintessential sonero from la isla del encanto. "His skills were just incredible," he offers. "In a way, Héctor reminds me of Billie Holiday. There's a quality that's plaintive and calming about his style. Like your friend next door singing for you, not showing off at all. That's a rare virtue for a star singer." An eclectic listener, Leguizamo boasts a huge collection of albums spanning a variety of genres, from Colombian cumbia and vallenato to hip-hop, jazz, blues and rock. He also has a weakness for the '80s wave of syrupy salsa romántica - Eddie Santiago's "Lluvia" reminds him of his painful breakup with a beautiful girl. Still, when it comes to tropical music, his heart belongs to Fania. "The old school stuff has a real quality to it that separates it from the rest," he concludes. "It's transcendental." Liner notes by Ernesto Lechner--Habiendo crecido en Nueva York, el actor y cómico John Leguizamo recuerda la década del '70 como "la mejor época para la música en esta ciudad". Como resulta natural para el hijo de un padre puertorriqueño y una madre colombiana, la explosión salsera protagonizada por las estrellas de la Fania fue una parte fundamental de la educación musical de Leguizamo. Coincidiendo con el espectáculo de Broadway "Ghetto Klown", que ha sido todo un éxito con el público y la crítica, el actor tuvo acceso a los archivos de la Fania para compilar un disco con sus canciones favoritas. La selección muestra el impecable gusto musical de Leguizamo: Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe, Rubén Blades e Ismael Miranda son algunos de los cantantes que aparecen en el disco. Cuando habla de esta música, el actor expresa su debilidad por el estilo inigualable de la diva cubana La Lupe, además de la energía colectiva de la Fania All Stars. Presentando doce clásicos salseros y un librito con comentarios del mismo actor sobre las canciones y sus intérpretes, "Ghetto Klown" es altamente recomendable para todos los fanáticos de John Leguizamo y la vieja guardia de la Fania.
Fania is pleased to announce the release of HAMMOCK HOUSE: SANTIAGO SESSIONS on August 25, the newest installment in their highly-regarded “Hammock House” remix series, produced and mixed by internationally renowned LA-based producer and DJ, Jose Marquez. The iconic entertainment brand, which has evolved from a legendary NYC-based music label to an innovative and digitally-driven global music, entertainment and lifestyle company, is known worldwide for their work with influential DJs, and one of the best examples is their highly-regarded ‘Hammock House’ series.
Stemming from an idea that originated at the Manana Festival in Santiago de Cuba two years ago, Marquez fuses his love for dynamic Afro-Cuban and Caribbean flavors on SANTIAGO SESSIONS with classic Fania tracks from icons such as Hector Lavoe, Ray Barretto, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz. Standout tracks include “Aguanile,” the iconic song from Fania legends Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe which first appeared on the album El Juicio in 1972, for which Marquez enlisted noted musicians Bobby Wilmore and Lazaro Galarraga, who specialize in Afro-Cuban percussion, to perform on congas and bata drums. Another showstopper on the release is “Herencia Africana,” which was composed by Javier Vazquez and recorded by the legendary Celia Cruz and Sonora Matancera on the album Feliz Encuentro, released in 1982. In the song, Cruz talks about her African Heritage/influence, so Marquez brought in US-based musicians originally from Mali to perform and emphasize the African elements of the song, using a djembe instead of congas and a Balafon which is a traditional African version of a marimba/xylophone.
Fania launched the groundbreaking ‘Hammock House’ series in 2011 with the release of its first acclaimed compilation from the celebrated producer/DJ Joe Claussell entitled ‘Hammock House Africa Caribe.’ With each thematic installment, Fania has teamed up with innovative DJ/producers such as Louie Vega, Toy Selectah and The Whiskey Barons, providing them with access to Fania's treasure vaults and the original multitrack master tapes from recordings by classic artists to create fresh takes on Fania’s musical legacy to introduce to new generations of fans.
1. Celia Cruz - Un Bembe Pa Yemaya (Jose Marquez Remix)
Congas: Bobby Wilmore, Lazaro Galarraga
Bata Drums: Bobby Wilmore, Lazaro Galarraga
2. Ray Barretto - Indestructible (Jose Marquez Remix)
Piano: Claudio Passavanti
Bass: Claudio Passavanti
Congas: Ismel Wignall
Saxophone: Elias Perez
Joaquin "Joe" Claussell
|African Fantasy (Joaquin Joe Claussell Remix)|
|Undeniable Love (Joaquin Joe Claussell Remix)|
|Mambo Mongo (Joaquin Joe Claussell Remix)|
|Chango (Joaquin Joe Claussell Remix)|
|Lucumi (Joaquin Joe Claussell Remix)|
|Exodus (Joaquin Joe Claussell Remix)|
|O Mi Shango (Joaquin Joe Claussell Remix)|
|Mi Congo Te Llama (Joaquin Joe Claussell Remi|
|Me Voy Ahora (Joaquin Joe Claussell Remix)|