Artist Essentials

Ismael Miranda

Ismael Miranda Essentials Cover

One notable album release by Ismael Miranda is Orchestra Harlow Presenta a Ismael Miranda. This is Ismael Miranda’s second album with Larry Harlow where his name, and some of his earliest hits, gain more prominence. Harlow uses some of the Fania label’s artists, like arranger Bobby Valentín (in one of his earliest bass playing recording sessions), Pete “El Conde” Rodríguez, Santos Colón, and producer Johnny Pacheco. This production may be considered not only a sample of the early Harlow sound, but a forerunner to the Fania All Stars and their collective effort. “La Contraria” (arranged and composed by Valentín) is among Miranda’s earliest well-known tunes. Furthermore, there are early experiments with R&B, like “Horsin’ Up,” and the Arsenio Rodriguez influence in “Jaguey” and “Grazing in the Grass” (of Hugh Masekela fame). This was one of the examples of what ingredients gave shape to the 1970s New York salsa phenomenon. Another of Ismael’s premier releases is Este Es Ismael Miranda. This is the album where Ismael Miranda pushes himself to the max, and it includes his smash hit “Maria Luisa” and the self-penned “La Cosa No Es Como Antes.” These tunes were arranged by the highly prolific arranger Louie Ramirez; however, Jorge Millet’s propulsive arranging concepts are what makes this production pertinent today (this was Millet’s first collaboration with Miranda). This is like fire and ice combined and is superbly recorded by Jon Fausty. —Bobby Marin