In Motion Bobby Valentin With the release of the 1974 album In Motion, Bobby Valentín became the first Fania Records artist and member of the Fania All Stars to venture into creating, the following year, his own label: Bronco Records. His second contract with Fania was about to expire, and Bobby communicated his decision to Jerry Masucci. “We would sign contracts for a span of five years, and this was the second one,” he explains. “I didn’t want to end my relationship with Fania. I was just getting started with my own imprint, and I decided to continue with them so that they would distribute the Bronco product– namely the albums Va a la Cárcel Vol 1 and 2 and Afuera.”
A few years later, Valentín would leave his position as the bassist with the Fania All Stars due to his heavy concert schedule. He would be replaced by Salvador Cuevas and José Gazmey. In Motion is a glowing final chapter in Valentín’s Fania discography, which includes other memorable titles such as Young Man With a Horn, Bad Breath, Let’s Turn On-Arrebatarnos, Algo Nuevo, Rompecabezas, Soy Boricua and Rey Del Bajo. This was also the second of three albums that Valentín recorded with one of the most exciting couple of soneros in the history of salsa: the late Frankie Hernández and Marvin Santiago. In 1973, both participated in Rey Del Bajo and in 1975, in the live shows recorded at the Oso Blanco penitentiary in Río Piedras, P.R. Afterwards, Frankie continued his career as the lead singer with Orquesta Impacto Crea, a rehabilitation workshop directed by trumpet player Carmelo Rivera which offered employment to addicts with musical talent.
In 1976, Marvin recorded with Bobby on Afuera. The following year, he worked with pianist Tito Valentín on the album De Los Soneros Vol. I and later collaborated with Tommy Olivencia, before focusing on his solo career under the guidance of Jorge Millet. In my opinion, In Motion is just as excellent as Rey Del Bajo, the extraordinary LP that found Frankie and Marvin showcasing their talent on tracks such as “Cuando Te Vea,” “La Víbora,” “Aquí No Me Quedo” and the bolero “Espérame En El Cielo.” In Motion showcases the chemistry between both soneros from the opening bars of the rumba abierta “No Es Mentira” by Roberto Angleró, with Marvin as lead singer on the orchestral segment, framed by an Afro 6/8 beat. Known as Grifo de Canales, Marvin performs songs such as the mambo “Bella Mujer,” from the Tito Rodríguez era, the bolero “Amar y Vivir,” and “Safa Diablo,” one of three compositions contributed by Roberto Angleró. Frankie, on the other hand, brought his sweet and joyful style to the guaguancó “La Realidad” by Tony Ramos, the son “Porqué Te Fuiste,” the guajira “Borinquen Yo Te Canto” by Angleró – the voice of Ismael Quintana can be heard clearly on the coros – and the bolero “Siempre Junto A Ti.” Following a Bobby Valentín tradition, In Motion allowed the musicians in his orchestra the chance to shine both in individual and collective terms. “La Mar Sirena” and Frank Foster’s Latin jazz cut “Shiny Stockings,” arranged by pianist Ray Coen, boast the articulate musicianship of Juancito Torres, Humberto Ramírez and Emilio Sánchez, among others. A little over three decades later, Bobby Valentín thinks of In Motion as one of the best albums in his career.
He does not regret leaving the Fania label, and emphasizes that he would have taken this big step even if Masucci had offered him a more lucrative contract. “I took that decision because it was one of my goals to begin with,” he says. “Masucci offered me the chance to work directly with Fania, but I had already decided to open my own label. It was one of the best things I ever did. Had I failed, Fania would have still opened its doors to me.” This remastered edition of In Motion is a timely tribute to the memory of Frankie Hernández and Marvin Santiago.
It is also a testament to the wisdom and originality of Bobby Valentín as an arranger, orchestrator and bandleader. Enjoy it!
Credits: Bobby Valentín – Director, Electric Bass Juan “Juancito” Torres – Trumpet Randolfo González – Trumpet James Adames – Trombone Humberto Ramírez – Baritone Sax Emilio Sánchez – Tenor Sax Oscar Colón – Timbales William “Danny” Thompson – Congas Hector “Tito” Faberlle – Bongos, Bell Edwin Rodríguez – Piano Ismael Quintana – Maracas Lead Singers – Marvin Santiago, Frankie Hernández Backup Vocals – Bobby Valentín, Marvin Santiago, Ismael Quintana, Frankie Hernández Producer – Bobby Valentín Recording Director – Johnny Pacheco Arrangements – Bobby Valentín Recorded at – Good Vibrations Studios, N.Y.C. Sound Engineer – Jon Fausty Original Cover Design – Izzy Sanabria Liner notes written by Jaime Torres-Torres Editor – Richie Viera