by Jonathan Goldman – The rise of a salsa empire and the decline of boogaloo.
Fania Records, the legendary Latin music label, has been celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with a series of events in New York and Los Angeles, its opening salvo a Central Park show last June spotlighting salsero Roberto Roena. It felt, indeed, like a party. Hundreds of dancers flooded the area in front of the stage. Those present merely to spectate were forced backward. Scattered around the perimeter were those less enthused: numerous youths lolled against concession tents and information booths, occupied with handheld devices, presumably corralled into coming by parents either filled with missionary zeal or simply unable to get a babysitter. The sharp contours of the audience underscored the relationship between the label’s haloed status and the historical circumstances that enabled its ascent.
Inspired by the multi-ethnic music-fusion of 1950s and 60s Spanish Harlem, Lucky 7 brings to the west coast the high energy sounds of the classic mambo. The band features the haunting harmonies of the vibraphone, an unlikely instrument now as much as it was in the 50s and 60s. Featuring some of the hardest-working musicians in LA, the band is inspired by old-school greats like Jimmy Sabater, Cheo Feliciano, and Joe Cuba. This uniquely American-made style draws the best of the Cuban son, African-American jazz and Puerto Rican soul. It incorporates both English and Spanish lyrics flowing in and out of the same tune and offers up not just a swingin’ dance beat, but a thoughtful account of love lost, Latin pride, and clever double-entendres.
Lucky 7 Mambo band members, united by their love of mambo, bring to the stage the flavor of the past with the intensity of the present. Lucky 7 Mambo Chapter Two has featured artist such as Grammy Winner and Nominee Poncho Sanchez, Art Webb, one of the member of The American Idol Band “Kevin Ricard”, Johnny Polanco and Grammy Winner Oscar Hernandez from The Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Chapter Two presents to the listener an array of different types of latin rhythms.
All music arrangements are done by Rene Camacho, Francisco Torres, Luis Eric Gonzalez, Oscar Hernandez, Joe Rotondi, Tony Shogren and Johnny Crespo.
★ “Chapter Two” Available on ➧ cdbaby
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