Afficionados of the New York 'Salsa' sound (it acquired its soubriquet from the title of a 1968 LP by Venezuelans Federicoy Su Combo 'LIego la Salsa' (I Play Salsa) regard this period as its most fertile.
The jazz influence is strong enough to encourage thrilling improvisation, but not so dominant as to swamp the 'clave' (the distinctive "toc-toca-toca" Latin rhythm) or the swinging, set piece horn arrangements; and outstanding singers were legion....
But from the viewpoint of the CD listener, the most important feature is the extraordinary recording quality. This music was recorded simply (usually on 4 or 8 track machines instead of 16, 32 or 48 track as is customary nowadays) with the result that every instrument and voice has equal prominence. The sound is sharp, clear and live, with none of the rubbery soundwash quality that over-sophisticated recording techniques sometimes induce.
There are no gimmicks, no echo chambers, no sampling or scratching. Just a bunch of highly talented people, in your living room playing salsa from the heart and soul. I challenge you to stay seated during even one of these blinding dance tunes!
(From liner notes)
01. Tito Puente - Hit The Bongo
02. Eddie Palmieri - Muneca
03. Johnny Pacheco - El Esencia Del Guaguanco
04. Ismael Miranda - Senor Serano
05. Jack Constanzo & Gerry Woo - Jive Samba
06. Eddie Palmieri - La Verdad
07. Orchestra Harlow - El Malecon
08. Alegre All Stars - Manteca
09. Ricardo Ray - Aguzate
10. Tito Puente & His Orchestra - Mambo Tipico
11. La Lupe - Fever
12. Ray Barretto - Wipeout
13. Rosendo Ruiz Jr. - La Jicotea
14. Tito Puente - Work Song
15. Tito Rodriguez & His Orchestra - Mambo Manila
16. Alfredito Valdez - Carmelina
17. Bubby Valentin - Song For My Father
18. Larry Harlow – Arsenio