June 24, 2011

Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers | Mi Watusi

ARTIST:  Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers 
TITLE:  Mi Watusi 
LABEL:  Freestyle 
REVIEW:  For a few years in the late 1960s, boogaloo was a Latin music craze that crossed over to the Anglo world in a big way.  It’s a fusion of the popular Cuban rhythms of the day (mambo, guajira and others) with the African-American styles that Hispanics were hearing in Spanish Harlem: soul, R&B and doo-wop.  It’s been called “the first Nuyorican music,” it produced the first million-selling Latin record in the USA (Joe Cuba’s “Bang Bang”), sophisticated players and listeners derided it as kids’ music and a crossover sellout.  In a way, it was the reggaeton of its day.  Ray Lugo, who also leads the Afrobeat band Kokolo (and was at one time a roadie for the Beastie Boys), has put together a combo to play this music of his parents’ generation.  Most of the tracks are covers (some are deep cuts even if you’re into the genre) and the band plays in very much an original boogaloo style, with just a touch of modern updating.  This is a great party disc -- ten short and sweet tracks, each one gets right to the heart of the matter, each one will have you up and doing the shing-a-ling in no time.  Nicely done. 
TOP TRACKS:    1    5    7    8 
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    2    3    4    6    10

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