WILLIE COLÓN — El Juicio

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WILLIE COLÓN - El Juicio cover
4.90 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1972

Tracklist

A1 Ah-Ah/O-No
A2 Piraña
A3 Seguire Sin Ti
A4 Timbalero
B1 Aguanile
B2 Soñando Despierto
B3 Si La Ves
B4 Pan Y Agua (Bread & Water)

Total Time: 39:30

Line-up/Musicians

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About this release

Fania Records ‎– SLP 00424 (US)

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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Matt
Willie Colon's eighth album which was released in 1972 with six of the eight compositions written by Willie and not only that he produced and arranged the album with Johnny Pacheco as the recording director. Crime and gangsters are still Willie's theme and another classic latin album cover designed by Izzy Sanabria. Hector Lavoe is singing lead and he has been on every album with him from the start with his first " El Malo" in 1967. There are only eleven personnel in the band with three including Hector doing vocals, four on percussion which only leaves four being Santi Gonzalez on bass, Joe Torres, piano with Eric Matos playing trombone with Willie Colon, who also plays flute and sings as well. No trumpets or any other brass instruments are present but that does not matter one bit because the sound is full with a real street Salsa feel. One of his most popular albums and for good reason as Hector Lavoe is in top form but the track "Timbalero" is every percussionists dream with timbales and conga in a brilliant drum solo. Hard hitting salsa is what the contents of this album contains with Hector doing one bolero only in amongst this mixture of latin styles that Willie has used in composing with Son montuno, Bomba, Bolero, Afro Cuban, Folkloric and of course improvision giving us that Jazz. Hector Lavoe on vocals is as good as any Jazz singer because he improvises within his vocals and when Hector makes a call or spoken insertion it just drives the tune to another level as the calls and insertions within "Timbalero" being one great example. Tragic life was Hector's turn of the cards and things did not improve for him but always he will be remembered as one of the greats if not the greatest of latin singers by many for his technique and delivery. Near the end he sang from a wheelchair after he fell or jumped from a window but it was the heroin that did kill him because he contracted AIDs from his earlier use of the drug which also created huge problems for him throughout his career and was the cause for Willie Colon having to sever his partnership they had for so many albums which are still my favourites with Hector singing but Willie still helped Hector after he left with his solo albums but although the story goes that Hector was shattered with the news when it came from Willie he understood that you cannot run a band with that problem and they remained friends. Hector Lavoe still went on though and had many a hit throughout the seventies and eighties with "El Cantante" which Ruben Blades wrote, becoming his signature tune from 1977 and that appeared on his album "Comedia"

"Ah-Ah/O-No" is the album opener with Hector singing on this catchy tune with its refrain and Hector even runs with the la la's wthin his vocals and it all just conveys that tropical feel to this little joyous opening. With "Pirana" which is the follower things move a little up tempo with a very tasty latin piano solo from Joe Torres with Hector of course having a comment about smoking banana skins while Willie and Eric come in on trombone with Hector vocals to finish the tune off. "Seguire Sin Ti" a bolero is next and Hector could sing them beautifully and this one is no exception. The album absolute highlight is "Timbalero" which is over eight minutes in length with one of the most exciting percussion solo's recorded with the composition having three changes throughout with Son, Bomba and Salsa and Hectors interjections as well as his call and response with the coros is sublime but things get even better when Louis Romero starts hammering the timables with Milton Cardona following on congas and this is one absolute feast of top notch latin improvision.The sounds of the jungle are the opener on "Aguanile' which is a great follower on the album for that tune and with a call to the Afro Cuban gods we are off but the tune is folkloric and still that drive is there as this keeps building with this rendition and the coros providing that call and response with great effect and when the trombones kick in things keep building with another percussion extravaganza behind and up front for the whole tune. Finally we get to hear Willie give us one on his trombone in this track "Sonando Despierto" with those sweet trombone chords Willie blasted out. Willie does a little of the singing for the next "Si La Ves' but Hector is the main man on this samba which just develops into one of those son swingers with the coros just repeating in the rythmn but near the end we have Willie playing an old tune in his solo but straight after back to the son swing. The last is "Pan Y Agua ( Bread and Water)" and is an instumental with Willie stretching out over this slow groover.

One of the top Fania albums and a great addition to any Latin music aficionado's collection or for that matter any ones collection as this is a wonderful album that Willie Colon recorded right in his hey-day when Hector Lavoe was the singer in his band.

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