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Sonero #1

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Album Review

Of his musical generation — roughly the '60s and '70s — Puerto Rico's Rivera was the finest non-Cuban singer of all, and perhaps the finest without restriction. His improvising brilliance was enhanced by a deep, heavy voice of a type rare in Latin singing. He and percussionist/bandleader Cortijo were major influences in NYC proto-salsa through their superb recordings of Puerto Rican bombas and plenas. Unfortunately an extended sabbatical at the federal government's expense interrupted his career at a critical moment, but those who know, know just how good he was. ~ John Storm Roberts, Original Music, Rovi


Born: 05 October 1931 in Santurce, Puerto Rico

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Ismael Rivera (El Sonero Mayor "Maelo") was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, on October 5, 1931. It all started on the very same street Rivera was born and raised on: Calle Calma. There he was instilled with the sounds and rhythms of Puerto Rico: the bomba and plena. At a young age, Rivera was exposed to the influences that would set him on his musical destiny. First, his mother, Margarita, bore in him a love for singing. And next, his boyhood friend Rafael Cortijo provided Rivera with the impulse...
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Sonero #1, Ismael Rivera
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