THE LATE GREAT RAY BARRETTO
COMPUTERJAZZMAN | Cliffside Park, New Jersey United States | 01/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GO OUT AND BUY ALL OF RAY BARRETTO'S ALBUMS, THEN BUY THIS ONE. IT IS A GREAT COMPILATION OF HIS MUSIC FROM THE FANIA AND TICO LABELS. I GUARANTEE YOU WILL LOVE THIS CD!!!!!! LONG LIVE RAY BARETTO!!! SOME OF IT MAY SOUND A BIT DATED (60'S AND 70'S), BUT IT IS GREAT MUSIC NEVERTHELESS."
Emusica off to a Latin start with Fania catalog
catsmiau | Washington, DC USA | 01/23/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Fania's catalog has been so mismanaged nay just plain neglected over the past 30 years (i once bought a copy of a willie colon lavoe cd - te mato- and it sounded like total distortion ... there had clearly been a problem with it and yet there it was) I have high hopes that things will improve now that Emusica bought the catalog but this Barretto compilation gives me some cause for concern. I do not understand the philosophy behind this compilation... it seems fania just wanted to include 1 or 2 tracks from each album with no concer for what they were including... Why would you include the same number of tracks (and shorter as they were done earlier) from seminal albums such as Acid, Together and Hard Hands as you would from Barretto's latter day efforts which had nowhere the impact and to these ears sound like more standard fare salsa. In fact the first cd is the one with the different rhythms etc... but they neglected some incredible stuff including some tracks he recorded with fania all stars which he wrote and should have been part of this compilation (i'm thinking of some tracks from the live at the red garter cds).. meanwhile the second cd is mainly post 72 Barretto and most tracks sound fairly similar...It just does not pack the same punch... Since CD1 has 15 minutes empty space and CD2 has another 15 or so they could have easily included more from early era Barretto... The liner notes are pretty shoddy affair with for example in the english notes riverside records honcho orrin keepnews (who anybody that knows anything about music knows who he is) is mispelled orrin keepnuevo as if they did a spellcheck in spanish or something and replaced "news" with "nuevo"...lame...barretto deserves a 100% treatment.. the notes tell us what album the songs come from but provide no dates, session players or anything else!!! the session players deserve better!... silly.. this is the typical mishandling of art by people who traditionally own latin music catalogs.. if they really want to do for fania what blue note did with its back catalog, which is what they've claimed, they got a long way to go.... also, there is no explanation of what happened when barretto's musicians left him around 72 to form their own group Tipica 73.. I give this four stars because the music is just great (although in my opinion too much 70s stantard salsa) and not enough early bugalu etc from the 60s... in fairness i should also say the sound is pretty good with two notable exceptions which are tracks 6 and 10 both coincidentally (not!) from "hard hands" which sound shoddy and buzz.. clearly an inferior source was used for these as they do not sound at all as good as the rest.. they should have just used a mint lp which they could have found on ebay for a bill... as mentioned the song selection is questionable and the liner notes leave a lot to be desired..it just seems like an opportunity was wasted to give barretto the 100% class act compilation he deserves... final quibble: to call this comp "a man and his music" is probably not the right way to go because barretto was very much about jazz too which is not represented here..."
A superb tribute to an all-time Salsa legend.
Justo Roteta | Los Angeles, California United States | 08/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The late great Ray Barretto's recordings for the Tico and Fania labels represent an extremely important chapter in the history of Salsa and this compilation offers a fine (if incomplete) overview of his illustrious career. Hopefully, Emusica Records (Fania's new owner) will reissue all of Ray's Tico and Fania CDs. Most of his major hits and trademark tunes are here and no self-serving Barretto fan should be without this great compilation."