Sun. Dec. 05, 2021

10 essential Latin grooves: sabor del verano!

10 essential Latin grooves10 essential Latin grooves… Like always, a selection is per definition limited. And God knows how contemporary music would definitely not be what it is without the incorporation of countless elements inherited from the Latin culture… Be it Jazz, Dance if not Rock and eventually Hip-Hop too! Not to mention its countless actors. Be they musicians, singers, DJ’s and producers. As a result, many are those we couldn’t talk about here. Even though they would have definitely been worth a mention.

No need to say how this selection is way from being exhaustive at the end. Most likely due to find an extension later when the right time comes. Nevertheless, you should find thereafter a pretty much illustrative sample of highly emotional pieces of art where the quality predominates. Be it in terms of melody and arrangements, lyrics or vocal performances. And most likely comin’ altogether as one.

Wishing you’ll enjoy the ride as much as we did, while putting this together for you. With your feedback, and a mention of your favorite song more than welcome…

10 essential Latin grooves / Tito Puente & His Orchestra – Ran Kan Kan (Tico Records)
Puerto-Rican percussionist Tito Puente, known as “El Rey Del Mambo”, played a major influence in the recognition of Latin Music Stateside. This with a career that spanned over 40 years. Eventually seeing the classic ‘Ran Kan Kan’, from his 1954 ‘Mambo On Broadway’ album, remixed back in 1992 by Louie Vega and Kenny Dope. And joinin’ them 4 years after on their memorable Nuyorican Soul album.
10 essential Latin grooves / Negrocan – Cada Vez (Grant Nelson Vocal Mix) (Swing City Records)
“Cada vez que te veo” (“Each time I see you”)… One of the most famous Latin Soulful House jams that ever saw the light. But also most likely the biggest success ever for UK producer Grant Nelson. The latter comin’ up with the perfect remix for this Summerish delight by the likes of British-based multi-ethnical group Negrocan. A collective put together by Uruguayan singer/bass player Andres Lafone. This with Brazilian songstress Liliana Chachian (of the Da Lata fame) on vocals…
10 essential Latin grooves / Cesária Évora – Sangue De Beirona (François K Remix) (Lusafrica)
Strangely enough, the one known as the Queen Of Morna (the popular music being to Cape Verde what Fado is for Portugal) or the Barefoot Diva, released her first album ever back in 1988 at the age of 47. From then, she would establish herself as one of the most significant artists in the world. Eventually reaching a new audience. With thanks to the remixes of some of her classics such as ‘Sodade’. But also the aforementioned which François K licensed on his Wave Music label. Reworking it, then soon after turning it into a Body & Soul anthem back in 1997…
10 essential Latin grooves / Djeff Afrozila and Alias Rythm – Você Me Chamou (Original Mix) (Vidisco)
A classic back then on our Facebook page, ‘Você Me Chamou’ (‘You Call Me’ in Portuguese). A cut which got our attention on a new face… In other words, Tiago Barros, better known as Djeff Afrozila. And, by that, his native country – Angola – being the home of an up and coming boiling hot scene. Blending influences from House Music with Brazilian and African rhythms and chants. One of his biggest reworks ever. And, in the meantime, the opportunity to enjoy the musicality of one of the most sensuous languages in the world… Portuguese!
10 essential Latin grooves / Candido – Jingo (Salsoul Records)
And now, time to welcome the most recorded conga drummer in the history of Jazz… In other words, Cuban-born percussionist Cándido de Guerra Camero, better known as Candido. A man who made a notorious foray into Disco back in 1979. This with the release of his ‘Dancin’ And Prancin’ album on Salsoul Records. A package that featured the classic ‘Thousand Fingered Man’ later given a cover version by the likes of Louie Vega. But also a brilliant cover version of the aforementioned. As a matter of fact, a cut by the likes of Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji taken from his 1960 ‘Drum Of Passion’ album. Itself considered as the first recording to popularize African music in the West…
10 essential Latin grooves / Azymuth – Jazz Carnival (Milestone)
Formed back in 1973 by the late Jose Roberto Bertrami (keyboards), Alex Malheiros (bass, guitars) and Ivan Conti (drums, percussion)… Brazilian Jazz/Funk outfit Azymuth came to higher fame 6 years later with the memorable ‘Jazz Carnival’ taken from their 1979 ‘Light As A Feather’ album. Calling themselves their music “Samba Doido”, which means “Crazy Samba” they’ve released countless albums since the mid-90’s on UK label Far Our Recordings. With this makin’ of them a major influence in the Nu-Jazz scene by artists such as Jazzanova among others…
10 essential Latin grooves / Louie Vega feat. Raul Midón – Cerca De Mi (Vega Records)
A mention to Louie Vega on this selection shouldn’t come as a surprise. Thus referring to both his roots and huge contribution to the recognition of the Latin culture. From his early collaborations with Marc Anthony and his former wife, La India. To his meeting with singer/songwriter and guitarist Raul Midón. The latter leading them to pen songs for Elements Of Life. But also to release together the aforementioned on Louie‘s Vega Records label back in 2003. This in addition to ‘Sunshine’ along with Blaze 2 years after.
10 essential Latin grooves / Brother’s Vibe feat. Juan Pachanga – El Baile (SOM Underground)
One of the most sampled acapellas ever… Juan Pachanga‘s vocal part perfectly found its niche on this brilliant production by the likes of Luis A. and Tony Rodriguez on their SOM Underground label back in 2000. An infectious rumbling percussive jam which fascinately depicts the thoughts of a man attracted by a woman and his approach to have her playing the game. As a result, I simply couldn’t resist. And by that, I mean includin’ it on my ‘Ritmo Suave’ mix compilation for Slip’N’Slide a few months after [More…]
10 essential Latin grooves / A Factor – Canto Azul (Extended Mix) (Dub A Records)
Certainly one of the most unsung treasures from the past as a matter of fact. And this, probably because of its limited release back in 1995. It would nevertheless be given an outstanding dubby remix a couple of years after by Faze Action. Produced by Jose Arce, Jr., its progressive construction is just awesome. With lush keys preceeding the arrival of a big band-alike recorded horn section. And the whole standing over subtly layered percussions melted with vocal scats…
10 essential Latin grooves / Soulcreation feat. MISU – Sueno En Ti (Deepa Grooves)
Last but not least with this banger which made its appearance right on time for the Miami WMC back in 2013. Producers José Burgos and Duce Martinez perfectly crafting this rumblin’ bass lead joint. Enlightened by a sensuous spoken word performance and scats courtesy of female songstress MISU. And punctuated with a killer synth part over a Latin Jazzy piano. You don’t wanna miss this neither. Do you?

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10 essential Salsoul Records gems…
10 essential Salsoul Records gems… (Pt. 2)

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