2. V/A-Rise Of Bossa Nova
3. Celso Piña-Sin Fecha De Caducidad
4. Serge Gainsbourg-Historie De Melody Nelson
5. Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos-Cantan En Español
6. V/A-Psych Funk: Sa-Ra Ga!
8. Enrique Iglesias-Eurphoria
9. Cristan Castro-Viva El Principe
Hands down the biggest world music seller over the last three months has been the Afrocubism CD. However, giving it a good chase is The Rise Of Bossa Nova compilation on Soul Jazz Records. There's a CD version, two separate double LP sets and a book (all sold separately) with all the classic original Bossa Nova tracks that DJ’s have brought back into circulation over the last ten years.
I should have been clued in when Fania Records promised to be a sponsor for a club called Anda! that I do with fellow deejays Gazooo, Ray Ricky Rivera and Mando Fever. The folks at Fania suddenly backed out on their sponsorship for no apparent reason other than to say that there were going to be "changes in the company." Then I read this today: according to an announcement made on Decarga.com, Emusica, who had purchased Fania in 2005, has sold Fania to Signal-Equity, a company that, according to their website, specializes in “leveraged buy-outs, roll-ups, restructurings and secondary purchases of investment portfolios in the media and technology sectors.”
Also according to Descarga.com, it seems that Signal-Equity intends to be respectful of the catalog and “appears to be committed to doing the right thing with this historically significant material.” Formal announcements and future release dates are planned for late summer or early fall.
What does this mean for the fans of Fania Music? Signal-Equity seems like it’s one of those companies that takes failing businesses and turns them around for a profit. The best-case scenario is that Signal-Equity will improve upon what Emusica has started with the catalog. Emusica did a great job reissuing and re-mastering the classic titles that have been out of print for decades. However, my criticism is that there were way too many compilations, including ones aimed at people new to Fania Records that neither appealed to new fans nor Fania enthusiasts. Also, there were way too many “Greatest Hits” packages, many from the same artists. Currently, there are five different Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe and Celia Cruz “collections,” most of which contain the same songs. Perhaps Signal-Equity will focus on the many titles that were still in the Fania vaults rather than barrage their customers with endless greatest hits packages?
Another legend has left us. Joe Cuba, who was known as “The Father of Boogaloo," passed away on Sunday, February 15. He had many hits during the 60's and 70's with his "Boogaloo" style, a mixture of Latin music and R&B sung in both Spanish and English. It was the perfect marriage between Motown and Fania, which were the sounds of New York at that time. It was the kind of music that got Afro-Americans listening to Latin music and got Latinos into soul. He had a number of hits, such as “Bang Bang,” “Push Push,” “El Pito,” “Ariñañara,” and “Sock It To Me Baby,”
He also helped launch the careers of many great singers, including Ruben Blades and Cheo Feliciano.
I got into Joe Cuba from the infamous bodega scene with RuPaul in the movie Crooklyn. In the background was the song "El Pito" and it knocked me out. I slowed down the VHS tape so that I could read the credits at the end of the movie. If you don't think you know Joe Cuba's music, maybe this scene from Crooklyn would refresh your memory:
I knew about Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria, but discovering Joe Cuba opened a door into the world of boogaloo and from there, into all the great Fania artists. Joe Cuba was instrumental in helping me to develop a deep love of Salsa and Afro-Caribbean music in general.
Thank You, Mr. Cuba, for helping all of us who were into your music expand our horizons.
This is our opening night. Ray and I will be spinning selections from the Discos Fuentes, Fania, Tico, SAR, and Allegre labels. Also we will play some great music from obscure South American, Mexican & Central American groups from the 70's & 80's.
Fellow Amoebite Ray Ricky Rivera & I are always talking about old Salsa & Cumbia records. We both spin at various clubs where we play a bit of Salsa & Cumbia in our sets but not throughout the night. One day we thought, "Why not have a night at a club where all we play is that?" Thus, Anda was born.
We will have a performance by the best Cumbia/Vallenato group in L.A. right now, Buyepongo. On top of all that, there is no cover charge.
We hope to have that dance floor moving. I think we should enforce the Midnight Star "No Parking On The Dance Floor" rule that night. Maybe we could have someone in a cop uniform go up to someone who's not dancing and say:
Excuse me, madam
You’re standing still in a no parking zone
You don’t get a move on that body
I’ll be forced to give you a ticket
So get with it
Ok, I'm real tired, because that was really funny to me.
Wednesday, June 4th
2331 S. Hill Street
Los Angeles, Ca. 90007
Starts @ 9 p.m.
21 and over
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