Fania Records announced the release of five rare recordings from the 1960s – 70s “boogalu” era that feature the funky back beat of Joe Bataan and the East Side Kids (Mr. New York & the East Side Kids); the raw energy of George Guzman (Introducing George Guzman); the jam sessions of Joey Pastrana (Joey); the romance of Ralfi Pagan (Ralfi Pagan) and the “salsa” of Panamanian crooner, Azuquita (Sugar) and his “Orquesta Melao” (Pura Salsa).
Remastered from the original multi-track recordings, only 5,000 numbered copies of each Cd will be released to the public. The reissued releases feature bilingual liner notes accompanied by a photo from the original album covers. Joe Bataan, for example, spotlights his band in an inner city vest pocket playground with low-income housing projects as its backdrop.
Considered a precursor to the rap, hip-hop and reggaeton that has overtaken inner city youth today, these recordings provide a glimpse into the future of Latin music illustrating a unique sound that marries mambo with R & B wrapped around English (and in some cases “Spanglish”) lyrics.
“We’re very proud of these packages not only for the quality of sound but for their historic significance in the soundtrack of Latin N.Y. life. They’re already being requested by collectors, radio jocks and historians. These recordings commemorate an innocent time of struggle, survival and identity for some first and second generation of Latinos growing up in New York. We’re happy to have been able to rescue and restore this music and era for the many who were weaned on the urban music of New York streets,” underscored Fania records spokesperson, Giora Breil, Partner and Sr. V.P. of Marketing for Emusica, the entertainment company that bought the assets of Fania Records.
Emusica acquired the Fania Records catalog of more than 1,300 recordings last year. The company has reissued some 100 remastered CDs onto the market with great fanfare. “Salsa today is associated with a particular generation,” adds Breil, “but it is a music that has always been intergenerational and multicultural.” The Fania catalog, with more than 13,000 tunes, is considered the Motown of Tropical music.
“With this catalog, we want to build on what was produced from a fantastic artistry,” Breil confirmed. Visit the website at www.faniarecords.com.
Other Joe Bataan reissues: Riot!