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Tommy Olivencia - Introducing Lalo Rodriguez & Simon Perez

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Album Review

This terrific Tommy Olivencia effort marks the only time Lalo Rodríguez recorded with the long-running orchestra (this album celebrates 18 years of the band's continuing existence). This also marks the arrival of longtime Olivencia associate Simón Pérez (who previously recorded with bandleader Agustín Arce). This enjoyable release features Rodríguez at his peak, showcasing his finely tuned voice as he did with the Eddie Palmieri Orchestra. "Vengo del Monte" (composed by Rodríguez) is superb, with the vocalist fiercely responding to the orchestra's relentless attacks (solos are by timbalero Julio Morales and conga player David "Cortijito" Rosario). Pérez is equally impressive in "Evelio, Pt. 2," the follow-up to the 1975 hit; his formidable improvisational abilities would make Chamaco Ramírez beam with pride. Produced by Olivencia's frequent arranger/producer, Luis "Perico" Ortiz. ~ José A. Estévez, Jr., Rovi


Born: 15 May 1938 in Santurce, Puerto Rico

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Singer and bandleader Tommy Olivencia was a pioneer in the evolution of Puerto Rican salsa music. His legendary backing combo, la Primerisima, was the launching pad for future stars including Frankie Ruiz, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and Marvin Santiago. Born Ángel Tomás Olivencia Pagán in the Santurce section of San Juan on May 15, 1938, he spent much of his adolescence in the city of Arecibo, where he learned to play trumpet. By his mid-teens Olivencia was a staple of local dance bands, and in 1960 founded...
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Tommy Olivencia - Introducing Lalo Rodriguez & Simon Perez, Tommy Olivencia
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