Ray Barretto y Su Orquesta –  Charanga Moderna


Ray Barretto, an integral part of the Latin Salsa/Jazz scene was born in 1929 and died in 2006. He was a conga player, drummer, bandleader, composer and producer. He was a member of Tito Puente’s orchestra from 1957 to 1960 when he formed his own orchestra in 1962. Earlier, Barretto was a house musician for the Prestige, Blue Note, and Riverside labels. He also recorded on Columbia Records with Jazz flautist Herbie Mann. In 1962 he recorded his first album for Tico, Charanga Moderna”, which rewarded him with a smash hit. One of the tunes in the album was actually a fill-in titled “El Watusi” which went on to become one of the biggest hit singles across the pop nation. He recorded with top jazz bandleaders for years prior to forming his own band and his success continued into the 1970s with songs such as “Cocinando” and “Indestructible” for Fania Records. He was also one of the Fania All Stars and continued being a highly demanded session musician for top jazz artists until his demise.