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Live in Africa (feat. Celia Cruz & Jorge Santana)

Fania All-Stars

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iTunes Review

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.

Biography

Formed: 1967 in New York, NY

Genre: Salsa y Tropical

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

The flagship act for Fania Records, the Fania All-Stars popularized New York salsa during the 1970s by organizing concerts at larger and larger venues (from the Red Garter in Greenwich Village all the way to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx) that spotlighted not only the label's but the salsa world's biggest stars — Ray Barretto, Willie Colón, Johnny Pacheco, Rubén Blades, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Miranda, Cheo Feliciano, Bobby Cruz, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, and special guests like Tito Puente, Celia...
Full Bio
Live in Africa (feat. Celia Cruz & Jorge Santana), Fania All-Stars
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