Celia & Johnny – Tremendo Caché
This is an album that is so joyous and festive, it will get any dancer onto the dance floor. This second 1975 Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco collaboration is an absolute classic! It yields so many hits that no serious salsa fan should be without it. The influence of 1950’s by Celia when with Rogelio Martinez’s Sonora Matancera is all over this album. Albeit, with the magical contributions of Johnny Pacheco’s display of intellectual ability. It is salsa at its finest.
“Tres Días De Carnaval “and “La Sopa En Botella”, which were originally recorded in the 1950’s when Celia worked with La Sonora, and the opener “Cúcala” are exceptional. Then, if you take into count the version of “Oriza Eh” and how good Curet Alonso’s “De La Verdegué” is, or the Johnny Pacheco ‘penned’ merengue, “No Aguanto Más”, you will discover dynamite in a bottle. When you hear director leader/pianist of Sonora Ponceña, Enrique ‘Papo’ Lucca take his fabulous solo on “La Sopa En Botella”, and when Celia encourages Papo and Luis Mangual, ,just after his bongo solo along with the trumpet arrangement, it is just musical class and sheer genius!
Actually, this whole album is replete with great arrangements. From Louie Ramirez on the mighty “Tres Dias De Carnaval“, “Ni Hablar”, and “De La Verdegué“; and from Lucca on “Cúcala” and “La Sopa En Botella” and from bassist Roberto ‘Bobby’ Valentín on “Oriza Eh” and “Rico Changui“; as well as Felipe Yanes on “Dime Si Llegué A Tiempo”; and from Johnny Pacheco himself, on the merengue “No Aguanto Más”, you’ll find how great this package of first-rate salsa is. Celia Cruz’ vocal performance throughout this album is worthy of ultimate praise.
Make sure to own all of Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco Vaya Series albums, like their very first 1974 “Celia & Johnny” with “Quimbara” and “Toro Mata”, their 3rd 1976 collaboration “Celia, Johnny, Justo & Papo” ‘Recordando El Ayer’, their 1978 Celia Cruz-Johnny Pacheco ‘Eternos’; the Celia, Johnny & Pete album from 1980, and then they released one more Celia Cruz/Johnny Pacheco gem titled: ‘De Nuevo’ from 1986.