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07/01/94

Bobby Rodriguez and Bobby Rodriguez

Column: The Other Side Of The CD

by Al Santiago

Bobby Rodriguez of La Compañia is still very much alive and kickin'. He performed a community service Thursday, December 16.1993 by bringing most of his band to my day work place, the Spofford Juvenile Center in the Bronx. The residents responded with wonderment and enthusiasm to Bobby's flute, tenor and band. Bobby had Martin Arroyo on piano, and that was an extra treat to all. I remember in 1977 Chombo was in Europe and I had asked Bobby to take Chombo's sax chair for the Alegre All Star's Perdido LP. He gave a good account of himself and excelled in Héctor Rivera's arrangement, "Bobby Rodriguez: Bajo Y Clarinete." I cannot forget Charlie Palmieri's instructions to the All Stars — he said, " 'Bajo Y Clarinet' will have two solos, one by Bobby Rodriguez, and the other by Bobby Rodriguez."

We also recruited two other members of Bobby's La Compañia for the Perdido LP. They were Eddie Hernandez (trombone) and Charlie Salinas (bongos)...and they did not get lost. They did a great job. I thank Kako for his idea of bringing in Bobby and his men.

Bobby's visit to Spofford reminds me of when Eddie Palmieri recorded at Sing Sing. A lot of young men gone wrong got some musical entertainment — and who knows if it was the first time they saw musicians perform live. I'm sure it enriched them and made them a little more knowledgeable about our Latin music culture.

When Chombo came back from Europe, we got him back into the studio to overdub a solo on Perdido, and a great one it was. The original Perdido cover is being used for the Te Invita Alegre All Star CD.

Hasta la proxima.



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