11 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Fania All Stars were a crack salsa outfit, featuring the trailblazing New York salsa label’s most gifted singers, arrangers, and instrumentalists. The roster of artists who have passed through the All Stars’ ranks includes the likes of Ray Barretto, Johnny Pacheco, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Miranda, Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri, and others. Yet the All Stars were notable for more than just their musical pedigree. Their incendiary live records greatly broadened Fania’s audience, and their crossover success was at least partially responsible for the salsa boom of the ‘70s. More than a traditional live album, Live in Africa is an audio document of the All Stars’ visit to Kinshasa as part of the Zaire 74 festival, a three-day music festival staged by Zairian autocrat Mobutu Sese Seko to accompany the highly publicized “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. (The bout was postponed for six weeks, but the concerts went on.) Not only does the album capture the group's fiery performances and excellent turns by guest vocalists like Celia Cruz and Hector Lavoe; it also contains recordings of informal rehearsals and jams with local musicians.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Fania All Stars were a crack salsa outfit, featuring the trailblazing New York salsa label’s most gifted singers, arrangers, and instrumentalists. The roster of artists who have passed through the All Stars’ ranks includes the likes of Ray Barretto, Johnny Pacheco, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Miranda, Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri, and others. Yet the All Stars were notable for more than just their musical pedigree. Their incendiary live records greatly broadened Fania’s audience, and their crossover success was at least partially responsible for the salsa boom of the ‘70s. More than a traditional live album, Live in Africa is an audio document of the All Stars’ visit to Kinshasa as part of the Zaire 74 festival, a three-day music festival staged by Zairian autocrat Mobutu Sese Seko to accompany the highly publicized “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. (The bout was postponed for six weeks, but the concerts went on.) Not only does the album capture the group's fiery performances and excellent turns by guest vocalists like Celia Cruz and Hector Lavoe; it also contains recordings of informal rehearsals and jams with local musicians.

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