Monday, February 10, 2014

Patrona Divina - Joe "Chocolate" Hurtado Y Sus Estrellas

Today, we feature another album from the 80s that was recorded in Chicago. The band was making some noise here back in the day until it's leader, Joe "Chocolate" Hurtado returned to Colombia, where he continued to promote his album. On this recording are: Jaime Ramirez - Bass, Jose Armigo, Tito Torres & Marcus Persiani - Piano, Jose M. Perez - Congas, Eriberto Perez - Bongo, Ray soto - Timbales, Elmer Brown, Humberto Tuero - trumpets, Joe Hurtado - Lead vocals, Mike Maldonado, Joe Hurtado, Junior Toledo - Coros

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Oveja Perdida by Rafael "Junior" Collazo


Junior Collazo - A Chicago salsa veteran

I recently came across a CD entitled, "Gracias Te Doy" by Rafael "Junior" Collazo. For those of you that were around the Chicago Salsa set back in the 70s,80s and 90s, you should remember him. Everyone knew him simply as "Junior - El Cantante." Junior was a vocalist at large for many of the salsa groups that played the clubs and dances. When he was not gigging with other groups he ran his own band. "Junior," as we all knew him, played piano and was quick to sit in on jam sessions. His band had a nice swing. Junior was a regular fixture in the Humboldt Park area and was always a cool guy to hang with. Now "Junior" has followed his calling and recorded the "Gracias Te Doy" CD. The musicians on the recording are:

Rafael "Junior Collazo" - Vocal
Felix Romero - Trombone
Orlando Otero - Bass
Alexandra Perez - Coros
Jose Francisco Montero - Trombone
Michael Swing - Piano

Check it out. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Eddie Palmieri Live at Chicago's Millennium Park

Eddie Palmieri and his salsa orchestra was in rare form this past week when he appeared in Chicago for a concert at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. If you like old school salsa you would have really enjoyed this one as Palmieri thrilled us with tunes dating back to the early days of salsa. Tunes like “Muneca” brought us back to the days when salsa dominated the dance scene. Included in this band was Trombonist/ Band Leader Jimmy Bosch, who thrilled us with his fiery trombone solos. Palmieri, as always, infused his special jazz influence to the Son Montuno giving us an incredible show. Opening the concert was Plena Libre, who was brought in from Puerto Rico and did an outstanding job in teaching everyone the simple “Plena” dance step. The entire audience (non-Latinos included) caught on quickly and danced the plena in the aisles as the band played on. A great time was had by all.   

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Flashback to the 70's - El Mirador

Here is a picture someone sent me recently of the house band at El Mirador on North Avenue during the 70's. Menique is the leader. If you remember form a prior post, El Mirador was the exclusive Latin Night Club that featured Tito Puente during that time. Menique and this group took over the house band duties after Puente moved on. How many of these musicians do you recognize? (Hint - some are still around).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Salsa Giants

This week, I had the pleasure of seeing the "Salsa Giants" special that was aired featuring the Sergio George collaboration of salsa stars that played at the Curacao North Jazz Festival. The show was awesome showcasing some of the popular stars that are salsa icons from its past and present. Among them was, Marc Anthony, Cheo Feliciano Oscar DeLeon, Andy Montanez, Nora (Orquesta La Luz), Luis Enrique, Tito Nieves, Willy Chirino, Charlie Zaa, Jose Alberto "El Canario",and Sergio George. I questioned the presence of Charlie Zaa among the salsa artists knowing far well that he is a better fit among the Bachata crowd but in his defense, he did a credible job and is really quite good. Anyway, as the show goes on Sergio George explained the concept behind the project and wanted to feature stars from different countries. As you can see from the names I mentioned some of the countries represented are Puerto Rico, USA (New Yorican Marc Anthony), Puerto Rico, Colombia, Japan, and Cuba among others. The band was very good containing many of the studio musicians that actually recorded many of the tunes. Sergio George is a master at his craft and put it all together quite well. I expect that it will be aired again soon. If not, a Video is available for purchase. I highly recommend it. Be sure to check it out.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

El Canario at Chicago’s Cuban Fest

In case you missed it, Jose Alberto “El Canario” charged the crowd with electrifying salsa at this year’s Cuban Fest, which was held at Riis Park at Narragansett and Fullerton Avenue this past Saturday. Despite audio issues - none his doing, Jose Alberto inspired the crowd with his repertoire of tunes he has recorded over the years. Sound engineers found themselves struggling with feedback and other issues at show time (which is a no no). The crowd was smaller than expected due to the earlier severe storm that passed through the park. Those who stuck it out however were treated by a salsa Sonero who is a master of his trade. This was the third Cuban Fest event that was held at Riis Park that seems to be plagued by rain each year. Promoters may want to consider changing their dates to a dryer time. In their defense though, who can predict weather anyway.