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A Man and His Music

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Album Review

No one made salsa great more than Willie Colón, but a large part of what made Colón great was Héctor Lavoe. "El Cantante" was the greatest vocalist in salsa history, a man whose gift for vocal improvisation and rhythm was in similar company with James Brown and Ray Charles — and precious few others. He sang his lines with the same melodic dexterity as the greatest jazz singers (with more resemblance to an instrument than a voice). Also, he played off Colón's sprightly arrangements and punchy trombone lines to perfection. In fact, it's difficult to tell who inspired the other more. Still, it's clear they did most of their best work together — at least five of their albums belong in the canon of great salsa: La Gran Fuga, Cosa Nuestra, The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, Lo Mato, and El Juicio. La Voz, the two-disc compilation of Fania recordings, spends most of its first half reprising Lavoe and Colón's greatest sides, then focuses on Lavoe's excellent "solo" career (including La Voz, De Ti Depende, and El Sabio) plus a trio of his greatest appearances as part of the Fania All-Stars. It's the greatest Lavoe compilation ever assembled, with remastered sound and excellent liner notes from Little Louie Vega, the Masters at Work producer who knows his Héctor Lavoe better than anyone (he's Lavoe's nephew).

Customer Reviews

One of the best compilations ever!

I was not too familiar with Lavoe's work or his legacy until I purchased this album. Wow! What a stunning anthology of music that Fania chose to compile on this album! Every tune is a classic. You will not be disappointed AT ALL.

To all salseros

As a child growing up i remember in my neighborhood people playing all his music. today i play it & loud & proud
The one & only the voice hector lavoe .

A must!!!

Great calibration of his art, that we call. But this guy is the King of Salsa.


Born: September 30, 1946 in Ponce, Puerto Rico

Genre: Música Tropical

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

Héctor Lavoe was born to sing. As Latin music evolved from the boogaloo of the late '60s to the salsa boom of the '70s, Lavoe was at its forefront and "El Cantante" (the singer) of some of its most representative songs. Born Héctor Juan Perez in Ponce, Puerto Rico, on September 30, 1946, he was influenced by the Latin singers he heard on the radio, Daniel Santos and Chuito el de Bayamon, just to name a couple. As he grew more involved in music, he drew his inspiration from Puerto Rico's great sonero...
Full Bio