Fania Records has reissued the legendary salsa documentary Our Latin Thing on DVD. The three disc set includes the movie on DVD and two remastered live CDs by the Fania all Stars with a few bonus tracks.
In 1971, on the evening of August 26th, the Fania All-Stars performed at the landmark Cheetah club in New York. This was a key moment in salsa history, with some of the finest salsa musicians of the era performing extensive jams and pieces that later became salsa classics, including “Anacaona”, “Quítate Tú”, “Descarga Fania”, “Ponte Duro”, “Descarga Fania”, “Estrellas de Fania”, “Cocinando.” The music came out originally as a two LP set titled Live At The Cheetah.
The documentary was the project of Fania founder Jerry Masucci, who had movie cameras filming the concert, setting up the foundation for a feature length movie documenting the growing salsa movement of the 1970s. Our Latin Thing became a collector’s item. Now, the remastered edition of the movie is available to worldwide audiences.
Our Latin Thing was directed by renowned documentary filmmaker Leon Gast. It captures the essence of the Spanish Harlem (El Barrio) neighborhood and the cast of salsa stars rehearsing and performing at The Cheetah, including Héctor Lavoe, Johnny Pacheco Ray Barretto, Willie Colon, Larry Harlow, Bobby Cruz, Ricardo Ray, Bobby Valentin, and many more.
The Classic “Quítate Tú” has to be one of the best introductions to 1970s salsa. It shows the vocalists taking turns, improvising lyrics, following an ancient tradition. There is also a spectacular solo by masterful cuatro guitar player Yomo Toro.
Filmmaker Gast followed the musicians to the recording studio and also showed scenes from daily life in Spanish Harlem, reflecting the Hispanic experience in the United States, in an urban context. You’ll see salsa history in the making.
Disc 1: Our Latin Thing Video
1. Introduction Theme (Cheetah)
2. Descarga Fania
3. Anacaona (Cheetah)
4. Quitate Tu
1. Ahora Vengo Yo
2. Estrellas De Fania
3. Que Barbaridad
4. Ponte Duro
5. Macho Cimarron
6. Closing Theme
Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa) 40th Anniversary is an essential document that perfectly describes the music and ambiance of the explosive New York salsa scene in the early 1970s. A collector’s item.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.