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Barretto Power

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Editors’ Notes

Ray Barretto’s Bronx-based ensemble reached its fighting peak in 1971 with Barretto Power. Here, the talents of veteran players are enlivened by the presence of 20-year-old bass phenom Andy Gonzalez, whose agile yet hefty delivery is at the core of standout tracks like “Oya La Noticia,” “Right On," and “De Que Te Quejas Tu.” As usual, Adalberto Santiago's gallant vocals provide the thread connecting this diverse set of material. On a piece of high-energy swing like “Oye La Noticia,” Santiago sings like a dancer, moving through each measure with leaps and flourishes. Then he turns around and embodies the Renaissance splendor of “Se Que Volveras,” a sweeping ode to a bursting heart. Barretto and his band honed this music on New York City's dance floors. The bandleader understood the importance of a showstopper, and his albums from this period usually end in dramatic climaxes. “Power” is arguably the supreme blend of Cuban tradition and R&B attitude. Santiago takes a break on this one, and in his absence the horns and timbales take to the fore to sing for themselves.


Born: April 29, 1929 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Salsa y 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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Barretto Power, Ray Barretto
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Latino, Music
  • Released: 1972

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