The recording and subsequent release of “Sorpresa La Flauta” forever changed the course of my musical career. It all began with a casual conversation between Jerry Masucci, my brother Larry and myself sometime in 1971. “Why don’t we record my brother?” Larry asked Jerry (with me standing there saying nothing as I was a bit shocked). “He’s got the Harlow name; I’ll produce it, Ismael Miranda will write some tunes and co-produce the album. Whaddaya think Jer?” Well, Jerry thought it was a money-maker, and we were off.

Larry recruited the then unknown Johnny Vazquez to sing. We then selected arrangers and musicians for the session, Ismael wrote some great tunes and Larry and I selected the rest of the songs. …….Baddabing….baddaboom….with no time to waste, we rehearsed and recorded the album during the summer of 1972.

The LP was released around Christmas time 1972 and by February 1973 “La Lotería” was number one on the Latin singles charts in both New York and Puerto Rico. It turned out, in fact, to be Fania’s biggest selling 45 RPM to date, and it put me on the salsa map.

Now, 35 years later, I’m still doin’ it here in Miami, and thanks to Emusica Records’ great digital remastering and reproduction, this classic example of hard-driving New York salsa from the 1970s can now be enjoyed by a whole new generation of salsa lovers as well as those of my own generation with this limited edition reissue. A gozar!

Written by Andy Harlow