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RAY BARRETTO - Acid cover
4.75 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1968

Filed under Afro-Cuban Jazz


A1 El Nuevo Barretto 6:49
A2 Mercy Mercy Baby 2:42
A3 Acid 5:05
A4 A Deeper Shade Of Soul 2:42
B1 The Soul Drummers 3:46
B2 Sola Te Dejare 3:48
B3 Teacher Of Love 2:26
B4 Espiritu Libre 8:25

Total Time: 35:27


- Big Daddy /Bass
- Ray Barretto /Congas
- Louis Cruz /Piano
- Orestes Vilato /Timbales
- René López /Trumpet
- Roberto Rodríguez Jr./Trumpet
- Adalberto Santiago /Vocals, Bells
- Pete Bonet /Vocals, Guiro

About this release

Fania Records SLP 346(US)

Re-released on CD by Sony Music (France,2001)

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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Specialists/collaborators reviews

In the late 60s many Cuban musicians residing in New York City began to combine Afro-Cuban jazz with North American soul music and RnB creating some of the most appealing groove music ever invented. Often called boogaloo, this music is near perfect in the way that it combines rhythm, tonality and syncopated melody to make an irresistible natural force that is hard to sit still to. Having just switched from the United Artist label to Fania in 1967, Ray Barretto decided to embrace this new style and mix it up with some salsa for his hot 1968 release, “Acid”. The first five tracks on this album are about the best you will find in this Cuban/soul crossover style, Barretto’s rhythm section is relentless and the double trumpet melodies of Rene Lopez and Roberto Rodriguez Jr ride perfectly on top. Although there are a few solos, most of the instrumental breaks on here consist of arranged syncopated trumpet melodies that drive the rhythm even harder.

The remaining three tracks are all good, but they don’t have quite the same focus as the openers. The closing cut, "Espirtu Libre", gets fairly avant-garde, which might help explain the album’s title and cover, which might otherwise seem misleading to some because by late 60s standards, this album is not particularly ‘psychedelic’. As already mentioned, “Acid” is a shining example for a genre that has so much going for it in the first place. When I listen to these cuts I’m reminded of other musical concepts that feature a similar perfect balance; James Brown’s early 70s funk, King Tubby’s first dub recordings, The Meters possibly.
Born April 29//4/1929 in New York. Ray was Puerto Rican and he soon discovered the music of "Chano Pozo" (Legendary Cuban Conga Drummer) and "Dizzy Gillespie" and his ambition to be play Conga's was cemented.He was soon working as a Side man on jazz recordings with the likes of "Jose Curbelo" and "Tito Puente". Ray soon formed his own Charanga influenced band and had a hit with "El Watusi". Boogaloo was the new Latin style to emerge around 1966 and Ray embraced the music and formed his own Conjunto and now we have arrived at "Acid"

First up is" El Nuevo Barretto", Son is the style and what a jumper.You should be on your feet in a snap and dancing with the blazing opening trumpet it is one great number with some fabulous drive and solos.Track 2 we get "Mercy Mercy Baby" sung by Pete Bonet which is one little groover but the tile Acid is up next at 3 and Latin Jazz heaven to say the least concerning this one.Recorded in one take with one Cuban rythmn guiding underneath by some great funk Bass. A great Trumpet solo is done by "Roberto Rodriguez" and then Ray quietly commences but by the time he is near the end he hammers the Congas. "Deeper Shade of Soul" follows along in the number four slot and is a Boogaloo number followed along by "Soul Drummers" contining along with another great snappy Boogaloo.Eight tracks in all on the album and the finisher is one ripper with the opening exchange of "Orestes" playing Mallets on the Timbales and Ray on Conga with a muted trumpet. Percussion comes to the fore with this,if poly rythmn is what you are after try this exchange between "Timbales,Congas,Bells,Jawbone,Bass and of course piano as well and "Orestes" soaring Trumpet over the lot.The name of the track is "Espiritu Libre"

Ray Barretto was with Fania Records now in 1967 when this was recorded and Latin Jazz and Salsa would quickly become his main stays.This album is a Latin Jazz masterpiece with a New York and Cuban influence and one that anybody who likes Ray Barretto will say "this is one of the best".One other note there are no over dubs in this recording.

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