Friday, October 17, 2008

El Rey Returns

Last month I wrote about the latest release from the reborn Fania label: Tito Puente's The Complete 78s Volume 1. Well, today's all about Volume 2, another two disc affair that brings to life forty more classic Puente tracks lost to all of us lacking the technology to play 78 RPM records. This volume opens up with four vocal tacks sung in English, an enjoyable surprise for non-Spanish speakers (although you don't need to speak Spanish to enjoy the rest). Also present are a few of Puente's interpretations of jazz standards such as Autumn Leaves, I Get A Kick Out Of You, and What Is This Thing Called Love. As with the first volume, this one includes liner notes by Joe Conzo that illuminate the story behind some of the tracks here.

Here are a couple tracks to get you started into this next set. The first, Cuban Nightingale, is the first track from the first CD and features the DeCastro sisters on vocals (singing in English). The second, Mambo Birdland, pays tribute to the famous New York City jazz club which in turn payed homage to the great Charlie "Bird" Parker (who ironically was banned from the club at one point). The release dates for Volumes three and four of this series haven't been announced yet, but I'll keep my eyes and ears open for them.

Visit the Fania website.

No comments: