TIPICA 73 — Charangueando con la Típica 73 (review)

TIPICA 73 — Charangueando con la Típica 73 album cover Album · 1980 · Afro-Cuban Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Charanga is what this beautiful album is about, recorded in 1978 but not released till 1980 after "Tipica 73's" tour of Cuba. The band was originally formed by four members from Ray Barretto's but by the time of 1978 there is only two left being "John Rodriguez Jr" on bongos and guiro who has played with "Tito Puente","Tito Rodriguez' and also the previous two years with "Ray Barretto". "Rene Lopez" on trumpet who was also with Ray and "Dick Meza" is also on flute and tenor saxophone. "Adalberto Santiago" is no longer the lead vocalist and he has been replaced by a fabulous young singer of only twenty years of age who is "Jose Alberto" and he would climb the latin music heights where he would gain his nickname "El Canario" but in 1978 he is just Jose. Arranged and produced by "Sonny Bravo" who is also on piano with a ton of experience behind him with artists "Conjunto Caney","Jose Fajardo's Orchestra","Mongo Santamaria","Machito", "Johnny Pacheco" and even "Bill Cosby". Special mention goes to another young protege who had just joined the band and he is "Alfredo De La Fe" on his five string violin who would go on like "Jose Alberto" to being his own leader and is credited with putting the violin into Salsa but as this is Charanga, no such claim here but what a wonderful effort he put into the album and without him it would have lost a bit of polish.

First up is "Busco una Chiquita" with the coros stating the theme over the beat and the flute dancing around. Pure Charanga is the result with this cha cha which is given the Tipica treatment and when Alfredo comes in with some great picking and "Wah Wah pedal" on his violin it is a treat. Next up is the "Tito Puente' song "Adonde Vas" with Sonny Bravo opening on piano with the band and trumpet quickly coming in with coros and Jose's vocals. The flute by Dick Meza is the one of the main attractions for this one with a great solo and play throughout the tune and also Sonny shows his stuff on piano. Alfredo is also giving support which he also does in the following "Cachita" and it swings with one great beat and then Alfredo is up with that violin and he finishes with a superb fast ending and mambo is the drive. Montunos rule in "Cachita" and we all love that repitition which is so much a part of good latin music. Things do not slow down one bit for the following "Yo No Camino Mas" and is Charanga and more Charanga with flute and violin everywhere and a great quick bongo solo from "John Rodriguez Jr" with one latin explosion to follow."Tunas" is everbody getting a solo and a jazz delight with Jose's vocals right on the spot. Hang on is that 'Oy Como Va" with the next song, no it is "Chancullo" with a similar intro and beat but still its own tune and what a good one with Afredo putting down some fabulous violin with that "Wah "Wah pedal and of course the band is just swelling in sound with each chorus where brass rules. Two more great ones to go as there is not anything remotely sub standard within this album and they are "Gallentana" where flute is number one with piano in a Chararga setting and the finisher is "Comparsas" which is festival with all that latin punch.

One of those great "Fania" albums that should be in your collection with a modern approach for the time to Charanga. The band did not rely on charts they played with spontaneity and feel with wonderful results and as any Jazz fan would know,"That is the way to go"
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