Welcome to the elWatusi eNewsletter Nş 6 for July 22, 2010. • become a fan on Facebook • follow us on Twitter • share us with friends • bookmark our blog

This week, we begin with a total gem called Dj Lubi Presents Salsa Dura that includes La Excelencia, La 33, Cheo Linares and more. Kokolo's Love International dishes up deep Afro sounds with some Latin flavor, and the amazing compilation of Peruvian MAG tracks Gózalo 1 is now available digitally. Henry Brun's terrific 20th Anniversary album is now here, and also be sure to check out Armando Peraza's Wild Thing that features Johnny Pacheco and Cal Tjader. We've also posted John Child's mini-bio of Chocolate Armenteros, and this week brings us not one, but two fantastic new Playlists: DJ Dwight "Chocolate" Escobar Direct From Australia and Andy Harlow's Sublime Charanga Sound! Finally, down below, you'll find our farewell tribute to the late Pablo Lebron, the great lead singer of the New York salsa band the Lebron Brothers. Pablo passed away on July 13th, and will be missed by everyone who has ever heard him sing. Read on...

Dj Lubi Presents Salsa Dura

One of the UK's first and best known salsa DJs, Lubi Jovanovic, has kept ahead of the pack by always taking note of new Latin musical genres that have evolved over the years without losing sight of the classic sounds from the past. "Salsa Dura", or "hard salsa" when directly translated from Spanish, is Freestyle Records' first pure salsa CD compilation and its a killer! DJ Lubi has chosen 13 of the hardest hitting contemporary salsa tracks from across the globe, many of which are featured in his sets worldwide! Some are popular hits on the salsa scene, such as La Excelencia's 'La Lucha'. Others have never been released before, like the Santiago All Stars from Chile, whose 'No Cuentes' is a Freestyle Records exclusive! Most of the artists are from the US but there are also bands from Colombia (La-33), Holland (Our Latin Groove, Doble Jugada), Venezuela (Cheo Linares) and the UK (Snowboy). This compilation covers the full spectrum of salsa - from instrumental mambo flavour to Cuban rumba, retro sounding 1960s and 1970s tributes to contemporary sounds. As the saying goes, "all killers, no fillers." Whether you are a salsa aficionado, a DJ, dancer or newcomer to the music, we guarantee that DJ Lubi Presents: Salsa Dura will have something on it to make you smile!

Henry Brun and The Latin Playerz | 20th Anniversay

The new 20th Anniversary album features seven previously unreleased tracks! Conga dynamo Henry Brun, nicknamed "Mr. Ritmo" by his fans, lives by the authenticity, dynamics and "cadencia" of the music he plays. Born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, Henry started playing congas at age seven. Upon their return to Puerto Rico, by the time he was eleven, he was playing professionally. While listening to and being influenced by Latin music pioneers such as Tito Puente, Patato, Buyú, Mongo and Candido, Henry developed his own unique style and technique on bongos and timbales.

Kokolo | Love International

In just a few years, KOKOLO's infectious blend of social commentary, charisma and musical appeal has taken them from the tangled streets of their native New York to the world's stage, firmly establishing them as premier innovators in rhythm-based music, and drawing scores of afro-beat lovers, funk heads, salsa aficionados, dance club punters and jazz connoisseurs along the way. KOKOLO (a name derived from Spanish-Harlem slang used to describe hardcore followers of afro music) formed in May 2001, at a time when the Big Apple's nu afro-beat scene began to take shape. Formed by lead singer and songwriter Ray Lugo and English trombonist Chris Morrow, the duo soon blossomed to eight core members, and within two months became mainstays at New York's venue for the avant-garde, the Knitting Factory. Turning to the DIY ethic of his formative punk days, Lugo self-produced and released the octet's urgent "Fuss and Fight" debut through a deal with England's Afrokings label in 2002. . That same year, KOKOLO undertook the first of many visits to the U.K., giving European audiences an initial taste of the live energy the band is known for. "My aim" Lugo explains, "was to fuse the socio-political awareness of punk and the confidence of hip-hop with the sophistication of afro-beat, funk, Latin music and beyond - in order to create something unique based on my own experiences". Lugo's music demonstrates a continually evolving ear for song craftsmanship, writing and producing works that owe an equal amount to Fela Kuti and Ruben Blades as they do to The Clash and Hip Hop.

Revolucion! Original Cuban Funk Grooves 1967 - 1978

Right in time for the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, legendary Bavarian DJ & producer Tom Wieland (7 samurai, panOptikum & les gammas - Compost Records) is coming on strong with his version of the story. 12 lost rare grooves from the vaults of the Egrem/Areito studios in Havanna get, after 5 years of work, a proper reissue at last! Cuba was a late 20th Century anomaly: a Communist government that fostered a vibrant, influential, and essential musical output. Cuban sounds resonate and persist in music throughout Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the United States. In the 1960s and 70s, Cuban music played just as big a role in the development of popular music styles in Central and West Africa as anything coming out of the U.S. or Europe. Tom Wieland, Bavarian music producer & DJ has taken note of the overwhelming response to the funky Cuban tracks he plays in his sets and decided it was time to make some of this elusive music available to everyone, complete with well researched liners and a wealth of background information. If you're into Cuban music beyond Buena Vista, Arturo Sandoval and Celia Cruz, you'll likely recognize some of these names, Juan Formell y Los Van Van, Orquesta Riverside, Juan Pablo Torres, Irakere but you'll likely scratch your head at some others. Tom Wielands new compilation "Revolucion!" digs deep to provide a nice mix of straight-ahead funk and psychedelic experimentation, with frequent hints of more traditional sound. Feliz cumpleanos, Cuba! from the label

ˇGózalo! Vol 1

The original, and still great, compilation of rare, vintage, Peruvian swing from the MAG label. This one features Alfredo Linares Y Su Sonora, Charlie Palomares Y Su Yuboney, Tito Chicoma Y Su Orquesta, Mario Allison Y Su Combo, Silvestre Montez Y Sus Guantanameros and many others. 26 fiery tracks. Highly Recommended.

Brownout | Homenaje

Brownout is an offshoot of the Austin based Latin band, Grupo Fantasma. Fantasma was formed out of two earlier bands, one being avant-garde jazz, the other a funk group with Latin influence. It makes sense then that once the members of Fantasma got the ball rolling, they would want to go for a side project mixing all three. "Homenaje" is Brownout's first, but the band members have been together for a good few years before that, so the album really feels like it was made by a working live band. Though the sounds range from acid-funk (think Sly Stone and Funkadelic) to Latin rock (think Santana, Tortilla Factory, Harlem River Drive), with a little Afro-Cuban and disco thrown in, the whole thing is quite cohesive, and will offer you a garden of delights. As it is a mostly instrumental album, "Homenaje" takes you on a trip like some crazy soundtrack to a Tex-ploitation flick, circa 1974, featuring pimps, playas, bandidos, lowriders, and hippie freaks. It's like as if Al Santiago did one of his Alegre All-Star descarga records but somehow dropped some acid, and Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly" soundtrack got tangled up in the mix. It's all "Brown Wind and Fire" -- fresh horns, funky breaks, with mean piano guajeos galore. Very highly recommended. (Pablo Yglesias)

Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno | Dog With A Rope

The second album from Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno, the tropical dub/reggae side project that Quantic introduced to the world with 2008's highly acclaimed 'Death Of The Revolution'. With the Flowering Inferno, Will 'Quantic' Holland brings dub and reggae flavours to the Latin American and African sounds that he has been chasing round the globe since he first started collecting records. He recorded the album in his Sonido Del Valle studio in Cali, Colombia. An album inspired by soundsystem culture but widened out far beyond just reggae and dancehall styles 'Dog With A Rope' is a Tropical soundclash - encompassing a heavy bass and reggae aesthetic alongside the Tropical dance-orientated music from Cuba, Puerto Rico and Colombia. "Writer, producer, DJ, bandleader – Quantic is a man of many talents and many successes." Spinner: "The hottest mother*%er out there!"

Malena | Fried Samba

The Malena production sound comes from the Southpaw Production team of Dan Broad and Chip Wickham. Working out of the infamous Moolah Rouge Studios in Manchester, their production credits include Badly Drawn Boy, Happy Mondays, Doves and I Am Kloot. Both are also experienced session players, having worked with likes of Nightmares on Wax, Aim, Embrace, The Audiowhores, Jimpster and the soundtrack to the Guy Ritchie movie 'Snatch.' Singer/songwriter Susana Montero is most recently known for her work with top UK Latin band RSL (best known for their huge 'Wesley Music' smash), writing and touring with the band for two years. However, she is also one of the UK's top Latin vocalists, with credits that include Tito Puente, Tania Maria, Isaac Delgado, Pichi Valdes (Orchesta Reve), Jesus Alemany (Cubanismo!) and Roberto Pla. An extremely versatile musician, Susana writes in Spanish, English and Portuguese, making her in high demand! The Malena sound has deep Latin grooves, fiery percussion and rich vocal harmonies. Their first release 'Para Ti' quickly established them as a top Latin act, reaching number 1 in the HMV dance chart. Their music is a hardhitting mix of Latin breaks, deep vocal harmonies, barrio soul and Brazil-Electro.'Fried Samba' represents a long road of releases for Malena. Born at the height of Latin House in 2001, Malena has grown from the world of funky Latin house into the darker waters of breaks and beats, still retaining a few hard edges with the production, but with more depth, twists and turns. It's a bit of Salsoul mixed with a Brazilian Cool and a dark slice of Serge Gainsbourg. Although at home in the studio, Malena also has a kick-ass 8-piece band, which has been turning heads and moving feet across the UK!.

Armando Peraza | Wild Thing

Original Release Date: 1968 Still one of the greatest ever to come out of Cuba. If you are a percussionist, you should listen to Armando. (Walfredo Reyes Sr., 1998) This classic '68 Latin soul session features Johnny Pacheco on flute, Chick Corea on piano, Bobby Rodriguez on bass, Cal Tjader on percussion and a host of other notables. Some very cool and swanky stuff here. Austin Powers goes boogaloo. Listen to the groove on "Red Onions." Yeah baby!

Soundway Records Presents The World Ends Afro Rock And Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria

The World Ends is the latest title from Soundway Records showcasing a wave of guitar driven and psychedelic groups that sprang up in Nigeria during the early 1970s. Featuring 32 electrifying and funk laden grooves, this is the sound of a generation attempting to pick up the pieces after the devastation of the Nigerian civil war. This bumper collection is brimming with youthful exuberance, fuzzed out guitar and cosmic organ vibes and owes much to the psychedelic sounds of Jim Morrison, Santana, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and James Brown. As the summer of love was blossoming in London and San Francisco, Nigeria was imploding into civil war. Also known as the Biafra war of 1967, it was a grisly conflict taking over three million lives yet at the same time the country was being pulled apart there was a new world beginning. The tracks featured represent a forgotten chapter in Nigeria's musical history when the youth threw their varied morsels into the pot from hard rock to psychedelic soul when guitars were cherished instruments, symbolic of a new movement, when highlife and Afrobeat played second fiddle to 'the beat'.


The hoo-ha caused by the deserved international success of the trademarked Buena Vista Social Club over the last decade has eclipsed the significance of a number of major US-based Cuban artists. One example is trumpeter Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, a prominent name during the era of Cuban music Buena Vista nostalgia harks back to, and who actually performed with legends such as Septeto Habanero, Arsenio Rodríguez and Beny Moré, among others. He took up residence in New York in 1960, and after working as a sideman with numerous luminaries, including Machito, Larry Harlow, Eddie and Charlie Palmieri, he...more


The tracks I chose to place in this playlist are for the dancer, lovers of salsa, from the amateur to the connoisseur. I have the right recipe for the mambo big band fans to the salsa dancer from the barrios and the most exquisite timba for the "reparteros de la Habana." My opening track is "Mambo" from Charanga La Crisis, by my patriot from Venezuela, Geraldo Rosales, followed by Steve Guasch"s "Aqui te traigo sabrosura" just to spell out, nice and clear, what I'm bringing to the elWatusi.com playlist. The third track "La Rumba en casa de Maria," by Sabadonga, is probably the most outstanding salsa hard core band of this season. "La Ley" by La Negramenta a track that i must include, by law! To make the balance perfect I went back to a classic by Roberto Roena "El pueblo pide que toque." Then I chose a block of tracks mainly for the big band lovers which today is called 'mambo," followed by another block for the lovers of the classic straight salsa, including big names like Oscar d' Leon,Tommy Olivencia, and Eddie Palmieri. I"ve finished off with a Timba Cubana block, beginning with one of the protagonists that started the whole movement: Jose Luis Cortez, "El Tosco," followed by two bands that thrive in international timba: Cesar Pedroso "Pupy" and Angel Bonne! Please enjoy your dose of Chocolate... GOD BLESS! PLAYLIST

ANDY HARLOW The Sublime Charanga Sound

Brooklyn's own Andy Harlow grew up in a musical environment. His father, Buddy Harlow, was an accomplished string bassist and Orchestra leader. By the time he was in High School, Andy was already playing woodwinds professionally in the New York City area. Andy attended New York University where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Education and a Master's degree in EthnoMusicology. He also received another type of education by paying his dues as a sideman in the orchestras of Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Ismael Rivera, Xavier Cugat, Machito and Joe Cuba while attending New York University. This eventually landed him a recording contract with Fania/Vaya Records, and a membership in The Fania All Stars super Salsa band. Andy's first LP, "Sopresa La Flauta" contained the monster hit "La Loteria." Three more LP's for Fania produced more hits such as "La Musica Brava", "Tin Tin Deo", "El Campesino"and "No Qe Va a Llorar." 1999 saw the debut of Andy's "La Musica Brava" internet radio show, which can now be heard on Andy's own website. The show attracts a loyal audience of listeners worldwide. Here is Andy's super CHARANGA playlist ...Enjoy! PLAYLIST

R.I.P. PABLO LEBRON, 1937-2010

In memory of the late Pablo Lebron, who had a very direct, unpretentious style that I admired very much. - elW...

R.I.P. Pablo Lebron, the nostalgic voice of 'Los Hermanos Lebron' - Dena Burroughs, L.A. Arts Examiner July 13, 2010 Pablo Lebron, for years the voice of Los Hermanos Lebron (The Lebron Brothers) salsa band, passed away today in Brooklyn, NY. The Lebron Brothers consisted of Jose, Angel, Carlos, Frankie, and Pablo this last one ailed two decades ago by a heart disease that kept him away from performing. The news of this terrible loss for the world of salsa music is of particular interest to the salsa community of Los Angeles as the four performing Lebron Brothers are scheduled to participate in El Festival Colombiano to be held in Pico Rivera just five days from today, on Sunday. Andy Rosillo, one of the festival's organizers, stated that the foursome will be traveling to Los Angeles from Colombia this weekend to perform at the festival despite the terrible news. "There is an outstanding amount of interest, questions, and sadness for a great life that has been lost," said Rosillo, and added that a Mass has been scheduled at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the festival's location to commemorate the life of Pablo, who is tonight mourned all over the world. ...more (plus video)