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Henry Fiol
"Henry Fiol is a singer/songwriter/bandleader who has been playing Latin music for close to thirty years. His style could best be characterized as "tipico," because throughout his career he's always stuck relatively close to the Cuban son, the root of the music now called salsa. He began as a conga player, but in the mid-seventies he co-founded and co-led Saoco, where he wrote most of the material and made his debut as a vocalist. Since 1980 he has been recording and performing under his own name, both as a soloist and as leader of his own conjunto. "I'm not a big fan of contemporary salsa," comments Henry, "particularly of the 'salsa romántica' variety, so my perspective will probably be a little lop-sided, focusing more on vintage recordings. And since I've never been a big band fan either, many of the admittedly great artists who worked in this genre will be conspicuously absent as well. I've always favored smaller groups--conjuntos, charangas, combos, campesino groups, jazz quintets, etc.--because here, uncluttered by elaborate arrangements, the groove is naked, more palpable, and it's easier to focus in on the sabor of the individual musicians. This is the music I love, and although much of it may seem antiquated at this juncture, it's the sound that influenced me and molded my style--especially in the early years when I was first getting into the music." "

Henry_Fiol@descarga.com

Here are some reviews by Henry Fiol

Cal Tjader, Cal Tjader's Latin Concert
CD (OJC 643),Released 1958;Re-Issued 1991;
"Last, but not least, I must select something from Cal Tjader. Along with Dizzy Gillespie, George Shearing, and a few others, he helped introduce Latin percussion into mainstream jazz. On this recording, the renowned conguero, Mongo Santamaria, and the great timbale player, Willie Bobo, work side by side with Cal in a very sparse setting. Every nuance is clear as a bell and can readily be appreciated. "
Category: Latin Jazz => Latin Jazz
ORDER TL-2122.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Carlos 'Patato' Valdes, Patato Y Totico
CD (Verve 86244),Released 1968;Re-Issued 2004;
"When I was learning to play conga in the late '60s, participating in the rumbas which were common then, in the neighborhood, in the park, or at the beach...this was the record. All the rumberos knew it, and I had most of it memorized and under the cap as well--especially Totico's vocals. It's not pure rumba because it's beefed up with Arsenio Rodríguez's tres and Cachao's bass, but it can definitely be considered one of the best recordings in the genre. The drumming is excellent, as are the vocal performances by Totico, Virgilio Marti, and Juan 'Curba' Dreke. Very authentic, very melodic, and very well executed; it belongs in everyone's collection--particularly drum aficionados."
Category: Folkloric => Rumba And/Or Santeria/Lucumi=> Cuba
ORDER TL-11356.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Celia Cruz, Canciones Premiades
CD (Seeco 9215),
"'The Queen in her prime, singing her hits with the band that made her famous, La Sonora Matancera. Celia Cruz is truly the greatest 'guarachera' I have ever heard, and she proves it on these selections. Her intonation is impeccable, her tone is fluid and melodic, and her sense of timing and clave are always right on the money. Outstanding cuts are 'Vamos a Guarachar,' 'Motiagua,' and the smoking 'Vallan Vallende' where 'Papaito' Muñoz takes a nasty paila solo."
Category: Salsa/Son => Salsa
ORDER TL-10284.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Chappottin, Sabor Tropical
CD (Antilla 107),Re-Issued 1993;
"When Arsenio left Cuba for the United States, Chappottín took over the helm of the conjunto and founded Chappottín y sus Estrellas; basically with the same personnel, but with the addition of new vocalists: Miguelito Cuní, René Alvarez, and, occasionally, the great Cheo Marquetti. Although a big Arsenio fan, I was never that fond of his thick, syrupy, vibrato-laden, multi-voiced vocal arrangements, and I prefer Chappottín's approach. He seems to have given the lead singer more freedom to sing naturally (without all the phony vibrato) and express himself in a less contrived way. Listen to Miguelito Cuni soar on 'Yo Sí Como Candela,' on this, my favorite Chappottín album, and you'll see exactly what I mean. In the early 80's, I had the pleasure of sharing the bandstand with Chappottín in Mexico City, and although Cuní had a bad night (he was nursing a sore throat), it was still a great pleasure to see my idols at close range and hear them perform live. Unforgettable."
Category: Salsa/Son => Son, Guaracha, Guajira=> Cuba
ORDER TL-12803.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Conjunto Guaguanco Matancero, Guaguanco - Con Papin Y Sus Rumberos
CD (Antilla 565),
"Half of this recording is good (the cuts which are performed by Papín y sus Rumberos), but the other half is great. This is the original Conjunto Guaguanco Matancero in action, with its founders 'Fuico,' 'Saldiguera,' and 'Virulilla' on the vocals--before they became known as the Muñequitos.' (The first cut, entitled 'Los Muñequitos,' became so popular it eventually became their nickname.) Without a doubt, this is my favorite rumba record. The drumming is tonal and haunting in the slow Matanzas style, and the vocal harmonies are so tight, so in tune, and so precise, it stands your hair on end. The group, which now calls itself 'Los Muñequitos de Matanzas,' is attempting to carry on this tradition, but, in my opinion, they cannot measure up to this sound; this is 'the real McCoy.'"
Category: Folkloric => Rumba And/Or Santeria/Lucumi=> Cuba
ORDER TL-11150.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Los Muñequitos De Matanzas, Guaguanco - Con Papin Y Sus Rumberos
CD (Antilla 565),
"Half of this recording is good (the cuts which are performed by Papín y sus Rumberos), but the other half is great. This is the original Conjunto Guaguanco Matancero in action, with its founders 'Fuico,' 'Saldiguera,' and 'Virulilla' on the vocals--before they became known as the Muñequitos.' (The first cut, entitled 'Los Muñequitos,' became so popular it eventually became their nickname.) Without a doubt, this is my favorite rumba record. The drumming is tonal and haunting in the slow Matanzas style, and the vocal harmonies are so tight, so in tune, and so precise, it stands your hair on end. The group, which now calls itself 'Los Muñequitos de Matanzas,' is attempting to carry on this tradition, but, in my opinion, they cannot measure up to this sound; this is 'the real McCoy.'"
Category: Folkloric => Rumba And/Or Santeria/Lucumi=> Cuba
ORDER TL-11150.11 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Los Papines, Guaguanco - Con Papin Y Sus Rumberos
CD (Antilla 565),
"Half of this recording is good (the cuts which are performed by Papín y sus Rumberos), but the other half is great. This is the original Conjunto Guaguanco Matancero in action, with its founders 'Fuico,' 'Saldiguera,' and 'Virulilla' on the vocals--before they became known as the Muñequitos.' (The first cut, entitled 'Los Muñequitos,' became so popular it eventually became their nickname.) Without a doubt, this is my favorite rumba record. The drumming is tonal and haunting in the slow Matanzas style, and the vocal harmonies are so tight, so in tune, and so precise, it stands your hair on end. The group, which now calls itself 'Los Muñequitos de Matanzas,' is attempting to carry on this tradition, but, in my opinion, they cannot measure up to this sound; this is 'the real McCoy.'"
Category: Folkloric => Rumba And/Or Santeria/Lucumi=> Cuba
ORDER TL-11150.12 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Cortijo Y Su Combo, Cortijo Y Su Bonche: Pa' Los Caserios
CD (Disco Hit 1426),Re-Issued 1993;
"Two great percussionists, Cortijo and Kako, join together on this recording to lay down some heavy duty bombas and plenas in a semi-folkloric street style. There are no horns on this record, and they're not missed. The excellent drum work and Chivirico Dávila's tasty vocals carry the whole show. Every cut swings. A must for aspiring percussionists interested in learning the intricacies of Puerto Rican rhythms. "
Category: Folkloric => Plena/Bomba=> Puerto Rico
ORDER TL-12922.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Cortijo Y Su Combo, Quitate De La Via Perico
CD (Rumba 55548),
"If it weren't for this band, I probably wouldn't be playing music today. I was lucky enough to see and hear them live in 1960 on a trip to Puerto Rico and I was so overwhelmed by the group, I immediately tossed my doo-wop records aside and began collecting Latin music. This is the sound of Cortijo & Ismael in their heyday, in their prime, and there's not a single weak cut on the album. Besides the big hit 'Perico,' I particularly like Ismael Rivera's voice-as-drum vocals on 'Piedras En Mi Camino' and 'El Trompo'--not to mention the closing tune 'Carnaval' which gets incredibly intense. A great recording."
Category: Folkloric => Plena/Bomba=> Puerto Rico
ORDER TL-11945.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Guillermo Portabales, Lo Mejor De Guillermo Portabales
CD (Disco Hit 1520),Re-Issued 1992;
"One afternoon in 1968, completely by accident, I happened to hear a tune on a juke box which really grabbed me on a gut level and changed my entire musical orientation. It was Guillermo Portabales singing what eventually would become one of my favorite tunes, 'El Carretero.' What I found so striking about this song was not just Portabales' lyricism and sincerity, but also its utter simplicity. It was the skeleton of a son--two guitars, one conga, and voices--that's it. There were no horns, no piano,no bongoes, not even a maraca or a guiro. This piqued my curiosity and prompted me to investigate Cuban country music, or musica 'guajira' as it's called, and after I studied the records, I took what I'd learned and incorporated it into my sound. My tumbao has always had a rustic feel to it and it all stems from this chance encounter with Portabales."
Category: Salsa/Son => Son, Guaracha, Guajira=> Cuba
ORDER TL-11901.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Joao Gilberto, João
CD (Verve/Poly. 848 507-2),Released 1991;
"This is Joao Gilberto's return album, after a hiatus of ten years or so. Although the material is not as good as some of his other recordings, like 'Amoroso' on Verve, or some of the Brazilian albums where he does Jobim tunes, this is still quintessential Joao. His sultry interpretation of Fred Bongusto's 'Malaga,' in Italian, is so beautiful it alone is worth the price of the CD. I'm not familiar with the last two cuts (they're not included on my cassette), but I'd bet he does a great version of 'I Wish You Love.'"
Category: World Latin => Bossa Nova=> Brazil
ORDER TL-13252.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Joe Cuba, Diggin' The Most
CD (Seeco 9259),
"It was hard to choose this album over 'Steppin Out' (I did a helluva lot of 'grinding' to 'To Be With You'), but this is my favorite Joe Cuba record. Cheo Feliciano's vocals on 'Picando De Vicio,' 'La Lapa,' 'Ariñanara,' and the beautiful bolero 'Aunque Tu,' never cease to amaze me--not to mention the very hip, 'Remember Me.' This band's rhythm section was one of the tightest around at the time (Joe Cuba himself, being one of the key ingredients), and because it was such a small group, it really sparkled. Nick Jiménez, the pianist, always seemed to be very underrated in my view. He not only had great swing on the piano, but he also composed and co-wrote much of the band's material as well, including many of the beautiful boleros which became the group's signature. His solo on 'Llegue,' an instrumental, is one of my all-time favorite piano solos."
Category: Latin Soul/Boogaloo => Latin Soul, Boogaloo
ORDER TL-12118.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart

Septeto Nacional De Ignacio Piñeiro, Sones Cubanos
CD (Seeco 9278),
"One of the better examples of the urban son sound, popular in '30s Havana. This music is the precursor of Arsenio Rodríguez and the conjunto sound of the '40s and '50s. Carlos Embale's vocals are extraordinarily brilliant on this record: bright, crisp, and lilting. 'Mayeya, No Jueges Con Los Santos,' 'Esas No Son Cubanas,' and 'Echale Salsita' are classics."
Category: Salsa/Son => Son, Guaracha, Guajira=> Cuba
ORDER TL-11563.10 CD Add to My Shopping Cart



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