Ray Barretto's congas, timbales percussion of Tito Puente, pianos of Eddie Palmieri and Ricardo Ray, the voice of Ismael Rivera, Orquesta Broadway, etc.. make up the cast of figures and salsa bands of the New York environment that presents this compilation album produced in 1996. They are many of the pioneers of that music over time has been spreading like Latin music, infused with multiple roots as Cuban, Puerto Rican or the same New York.
Boy from New York City & Other Hits is a budget-priced collection that features ten original recordings from the popular, kitschy East Coast vocal group Manhattan Transfer. For most listeners, the compilation's namesake will be the only familiar hit, but "Tuxedo Junction," the old Mills Brothers standard "Java Jive," and the ultra-weird "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone" are decent examples of the group's signature modern vocalese, jazz-pop sound.
A killer live set by Les McCann – and one that actually him playing with some horns! The record was cut early in McCann's career, with his Ltd trio that had Herbie Lewis on bass and Ron Jefferson on drums – plus some great guest work by Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Stanley Turrentine on tenor, and Frank Haines on tenor. We can't stress how much these players add a groove to Les' group – as we always enjoy his piano playing, but find most of his trio sets a bit sleepy. Instead, this one grooves like a rare Blue Note – and the tracks are long with plenty of great solo interplay.
On first thought, one might be hard-pressed to find a common ground between Algerian raï music and Latin jazz. But for the pianist Maurice el Medioni, an Algerian-born Jew who left his home for France decades ago as an exile, and the Cuban-born, New York-based percussionist Roberto Rodriguez, the link connecting North Africa and Cuba is a direct one – by way of Spanish Andalusia. World music fusion exercises are more common all the time, and cultural distinctions often become so blurred that the sources are obscured rather than accented.