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Ray Barretto’s 1969 album Together bridges the formidable boogaloo styles that the bandleader helped forge in the '60s with the big-band salsa that became hot at the dawn of the '70s. The title song might be the most furious expression of Latin funk Barretto ever released. Led by 18-year-old bass prodigy Andy González, “Together” moves with the rhythm of a hundred teenagers striding together down a boulevard. Relentless, aggressive, and brimming with high style and pride, the song proves Barretto’s claim that he was attuned to the heart of the streets. Barretto’s real talent was blending a wealth of pan-Latin styles. He transitioned seamlessly from the Cuban swing of “Adiviname Y Olvidate” to the rapid-fire salsa of “No Olvivo a Caracas,” eliminating the concept of generic barriers and showing the interconnectedness of all Latin music. The album climaxes with its finest performance, a reading of Chano Pozo’s perennial “Tin Tin Deo.” That song has been covered by everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Machito, but Barretto transforms it into an expression of ancient rhythms and their hypnotism.


Born: April 29, 1929 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Música tropical

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

While Ray Barretto's congas have graced more recording sessions than virtually any other conguero of his time, he has also led some refreshingly progressive Latin jazz bands over the decades. His records often have a more tense, more adventurously eclectic edge than those of most conventional salsa groups, unafraid to use electronics and novel instrumental or structural combinations, driven hard by his rocksteady, endlessly flexible percussion work. This no doubt reflects Barretto's wide range of...
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Together, Ray Barretto
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Latino, Music
  • Released: 2009

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