Fania All Stars
Fania All Stars
Condensed together in one single disc, the greatest hits by the legendary orchestra known as the Fania All Stars paint a vivid picture - in bold, stark colors - of the salsa explosion that shook Latin music during the '70s and '80s. The concept itself sounds hopelessly naive: expecting the greatest singers, instrumentalists and bandleaders of an entire genre to leave all egos aside and collaborate harmoniously in the creation of a swinging mega-band. Sometimes, however, miracles happen. The Fania All Stars did become a reality, and everyone involved had a grand time recording and touring the world together. To this day, they still offer the occasional concert, the few standing veterans, smiling to the sounds of "Quítate Tú," remembering the days when they changed the music industry together. Cheo Feliciano's smoldering "Anacaona" sums up the power of the Fania All Stars live experience. Recorded at the Cheetah club during the night that officially launched the New York salsa explosion, this concert version is as powerful as the original studio gem that marked Feliciano's 1971 return to form after an extended hiatus. Cheo is surrounded by some extraordinary talent: Larry Harlow duplicating the album's fiery piano solo; Ray Barretto on congas; a magnificent coro section including Santos Colón, Ismael Miranda, Adalberto Santiago and Héctor Lavoe. Lavoe himself contributed generously to the All Stars mystique. A composition by the orchestra's ever smiling musical director, Johnny Pacheco, "Mi Gente" became a higlight of their live shows. Lavoe also participated on many of the outfit's studio recordings. "El Rey de la Puntualidad" pokes fun at the singer's habit of arriving hours late anywhere he went. Framed by a lovely charanga orchestration, "Isla del Encanto" is a love letter to Lavoe's beloved Puerto Rico. The Fania All Stars had many kings, but only one queen. In fact, it was through the All Stars that Cuban diva Celia Cruz confirmed once and for all that she was meant to be salsa royalty. Performed with the intensity of a melting volcano, the 12 minute-long "Bemba Colorá" from the Yankee Stadium extravaganza, is arguably the most transcendental moment in Celia's career, a master class in Afro-Caribbean intensity. She also contributed hit singles to the band, adapting the Gipsy Kings' poppy anthem "Bamboleo" to the tropical field with impeccable taste. By the time we reach the exhilarating rendition of "Azuquita Mami" recorded live in Puerto Rico, it's 1994. Pete 'El Conde' Rodríguez is still in top vocal shape, and the velvety solo by Sonora Ponceña's piano genius Papo Lucca brings tears to the eyes. The smoky vocalizing of veteran Puerto Rican sonero Ismael Rivera on "Bilongo" and the evocative poetry of Panamanian troubadour Rubén Blades on "Juan Pachanga" complete a picture of the Fania All Stars as an indestructible machinery of Afro-Caribbean wonder. An organization that allowed its many members to express the best of themselves with freedom and good humor. These greatest hits, sure enough, are just the tip of the iceberg. ERNESTO LECHNER--
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)|