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Mark Holston
"Mark Holston is a journalist and photographer who specializes in cultural, political, media, travel and economic issues relevant to Latin America. As a music journalist and critic covering Latin music and jazz, he is a regular contributor to "Americas," "Jazziz," "Hispanic," "New York Latino," "Nuestra Gente," "Latina Style," and "Dancing USA," among others. He has written liner notes for dozens of Hispano-Caribbean, Brazilian and jazz artists including Tito Puente, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Luis Bonfa, Dave Valentin, Gilberto Gil and Hilton Ruiz. He leads his own fourteen piece Latin jazz and salsa band, Cocinando. "I'm a confirmed salsaholic," says Mark, "it's become my pop music of choice! My taste runs the gamut from classic dates from the 1970s to today's best interpreters. I draw the line, however, when electronic instruments become too intrusive and replace or water down real horns and percussion. Given my background as a non-Hispanic with a lifelong interest in mainstream jazz and big bands, I'm most impressed with great arranging and innovative, swinging orchestras. I believe strongly in the interrelationship between music and the cultural environment from which it comes.""

Here are some reviews by Mark Holston

Andy Harlow, La Musica Brava
CD (Vaya 24),Released 1974;Re-Issued 1996;
New old stock found! Limited quantities!
Andy is a multi-instrumentalist who put together some excellent jazz-influenced salsa sessions in the seventies. The lesser known of the two Harlow brothers, Andy never received the attention lavished on Larry, but his style was unique and highly listenable. Yomo Toro, Eddie Martinez and Jose Madrid are some of the excellent musicians on this mid-seventies date, which features a soulful version of 'Tin Tin Deo' and the irresistible dance groove of 'La Mujer Cocinera.'
Category: Salsa/Son => Salsa: Classic 1960s Or 1970s New York
ORDER TL-15247.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Héctor Lavoe, Hector's Gold
CD (Fania 574),Released 1980;
New old-stock found! Very limited quantities...
"A true sonero of the people performs his best solo hits: 'El Todopoderoso,' 'Periodico De Ayer,' 'El Cantante,' 'Rompe Saraguey,' 'Songoro Consongo,' 'Sombras Nada Mas,' 'Hacha Y Machete.'" (Nelson Rodriguez, 98/99 Catalog)
"Hector's vocals cut right to the soul. One doesn't have to be fluent in Spanish to read every nuance of his amazing voice. This compilation includes some of his most provocative work, including the autobiographical 'El Cantante' and the touching 'Comedia'." (96/97 Catalog)
Category: Salsa/Son => Salsa
ORDER TL-4716.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Tipica ‘73, Salsa Encendida
CD (Inca 1062),Released 1978;Re-Issued 1996;
[Only a few left in stock. Once it's gone, it's gone. - Ed. ]
This great late 1970s session is one of the hottest salsa dates ever. The group's sizzling version of 'Baila que baila' is a classic. Panamanian singer Azuquita, one of my favorite soneros, and an emerging Jose Alberto 'El Canario' share vocals. Violinist Alfredo de la Fe, timbalero Nicky Marrero and pianist Sonny Bravo are part of a large cast of all-stars that inject an unbelievable level of energy into this swinging album."
Category: Salsa/Son => Salsa: Classic 1960s Or 1970s New York
ORDER TL-15191.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Yuri Buenaventura, Herencia Africana
CD (Selecto 65709),Released 2012;
Colombian singer and bandleader Buenaventura offers a heady mix of salsa, Latin jazz and Afro-Colombian folk rhythms in this arresting offering. The orchestra's sound, reminiscent of mainstream salsa units like El Gran Combo and Willie Rosario's band, is big, brash and funky, with a powerfully tight rhythm section. This Colombian slice of the salsa pie adds some welcome gritty texture to the genre.
Category: Salsa/Son => Salsa Colombia=> Colombia
ORDER TL-25700.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Arte Mixto, Deseos
CD (Ahi-Nama 1009),Released 1997;
"This sextet is among the most interesting of the new Cuban groups. Sparingly used pop elements fortify an eclectic acoustic sound that explores a number of Afro-Cuban styles through an ensemble sound shaped by guitar, violin and vocal harmonies. Lead singer Sandra Cepeda is coy and vibrant, a real find. A key track is the group's infectious version of Ritchie Rey's salsa hit 'Aguzate.'"
Category: Salsa/Son => Son, Guaracha, Guajira=> Cuba
ORDER TL-16010.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Chico O'Farrill, Chico O'Farrill & His Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra: Pure Emotion
CD (Milestone 9239),Released 1995;
"Chico's writing and arranging are inextricably linked to the origins of Latin jazz; indeed, he's one of the music's most important living exponents and a master of the arranger's art. This all-star big band session showcases his creativity through a variety of stylistic approaches and orchestral moods."
Category: Dance Traditions => Big Band Mambo Jazz=> Cuba
ORDER TL-14309.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

El Gran Combo, 35th Anniversary: 35 Years Around The World, 2 CD Set
CD (Combo 2125),Released 1997;
"This one-of-a-kind salsa institution is remarkable both for its longevity and devotion to the bedrock tropical style. Any collection of Afro-Cuban derived dance music would be incomplete without one or more albums by this legendary Puerto Rican band. So, what could be better than a two CD retrospective set celebrating the group's 35 years of bringing salsa to the world."
Category: Salsa/Son => Salsa=> Puerto Rico
ORDER TL-15948.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Gilberto Santa Rosa, A Dos Tiempos De Un Tiempo
CD (Sony 80895),
"This magnificent, timeless album scores an A-plus in every category: impeccable, swinging arrangements, wonderful songs, and Gilberto's suave interpretation of the Tito Rodriguez legacy. I'm amazed that it didn't get more attention and didn't 'crossover' to any extent. I'll be listening to it for a long, long time. A modern 'classic' if there ever was one."
Category: Salsa/Son => Salsa
ORDER TL-11825.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Lucrecia Y Su Orquesta, Mis Boleros
CD (Universal/Pimienta 360659),Released 1997;Re-Issued 2002;
"This Cuban vocalist, leader of one of Spain's most popular salsa bands, interprets bolero classics on this live recording. Simple arrangements voiced by guitar, bass and one percussionist keep the focus on Lucrecia's sensuous, expressive voice. Bolero addicts and connoisseurs of exotic female vocal talent will both find much to enjoy on this intimate set."
Category: Bolero => Bolero / Balada=> Cuba
ORDER TL-15853.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Paracumbé, Tambó
CD (Ashé 2005),Released 1997;
"This Puerto Rican folkloric album is simply spellbinding. The roots of the island's bomba and plena rhythms, as traditionally performed in the rural southern part of Puerto Rico are interpreted by a female vocal chorus and instrumental ensemble of percussion, accordion and guitar. The ethereal vocal harmonies are mesmerizing, and all but insure a broad appeal for this distinctive and delightful album."
Category: Folkloric => Plena/Bomba=> Puerto Rico
ORDER TL-16104.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Poncho Sanchez, Freedom Sound: Featuring Wilton Felder & Wayne Henderson Of The Jazz Crusaders
CD (Concord Picante 4778),Released 1997;
"Conguero Sanchez has forged fruitful partnerships with guest artists like Eddie Harris on previous dates, and has struck a responsive chord with tributes to the music of Cal Tjader and Mongo Santamaria. On his latest album, Sanchez embraces the funky, R&B-flavored tradition of the Jazz Crusaders, featuring two of the original group's members, saxophonist Wilton Felder and trombonist Wayne Henderson. Poncho and his octet also cover such Crusaders hits as the album's title tune and 'Scratch.' The Cubanization of Brazilian composer Edu Lobo's seldom heard 'Aleluia' is another highlight. This is Poncho's strongest album in many outings."
Category: Latin Jazz => Latin Jazz
ORDER TL-16195.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Poncho Sanchez, Soul Sauce: Memories Of Cal Tjader
CD (Concord Picante 4662),Released 1995;
"Any album by Poncho is a keeper, but this tribute to former mentor Cal Tjader, the conguero's latest, is extra special. Poncho's three man horn section and rhythm team put a lot of muscle into what's believed to be the laid back West Coast model."
Category: Latin Jazz => Latin Jazz
ORDER TL-14464.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Ruben Blades, Metiendo Mano
CD (Fania Codigo 509004),Released 1977;Re-Issued 2010;
"The singer's 1977 partnership with Willie Colon includes the prototypical Blades composition, 'Pablo Pueblo,' and a romantic take on the bolero 'Me Recordaras,' with a virtuosic guitar solo by Yomo Toro."
Category: Salsa/Son => Salsa: Classic 1960s Or 1970s New York
ORDER TL-278.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Seis Del Solar, Alternate Roots
CD (Universal/Pimienta/Messidor 360636),Released 1995;Re-Issued 2004;
"Oscar Hernandez and the group don't seem to get the attention they deserve. Originality, explosive rhythmic interplay, and passionate soloing are this trailblazing band's hallmarks."
Category: Latin Jazz => Latin Jazz
ORDER TL-14016.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

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