When I became producer for United Artists Latino Records one of my priorities was to sign up Louie Ramirez to a recording contract. I knew first-hand how talented Louie was. We had worked on a number of projects writing and producing boogaloo recordings in the sixties. I figured now was the time for Louie to show the world how salsa and Latin soul music was supposed to sound. Louie began scoring the music immediately after the agreement. During rehearsals I noticed how well his band members fit into the mode of Louie’s musical arrangements.
This album features Mauricio Smith on flute, a teenager by the name of Alfredo Delafe on violin, Willie Mullins on keyboard, Papo Pepin on conga. Victor Velasquez did the lead singing backed up by a coro that included Ismael Quintana, Vitin Aviles, Rafael Barrios and Vicente Consuegra. Louie played timbales, vibraphone and piano.
The first tune, “Tipico,” features a nice conga solo by Papo and great brass work by Ray Roman and Carlos De Leon. The sensual bolero “Everybody Knows,” focuses on Victor’s vocals and incomparable Vinnie Bell on guitar, accompanied by a brilliant vibe solo performed by Louie. The background vocals by Ray Pollard and Chaka Khan lend an overall eerie feel to the arrangement.
“Tocoloro” features a great violin solo by a very young Alfredo Delafe. I added the top voice to the coro performed by Ismael Quintana and Vitin Aviles. “Perro Que Ladra” is a hard-hitting Son Montuno as is “Feo Pero Sabroso” which spotlights Willie Mullins on a clever piano solo. Mauricio shines with an effective flute solo, as well. “Sabroso Guaguanco” is a very danceable number that features the extraordinary talents of Willie Mullins and Ray Roman. The other bolero, “Mienteme”, nicely crooned by Victor, is strictly for lovers of romance and good music. We are even rewarded with a Puerto Rican plena from San Anton in the package. The album closes with a clever bolero-cha titled “La Tierra Da” In this album, the listener will be treated to great performances by some of the best musicians in the business. And by the fascinating talents of a young Louie Ramirez.
—Written by Bobby Marin