Fania All-Stars Que Pasa?: The Best of Fania All-Stars
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- Released: March 1, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
- 1.Ella Fue (She Was the One)
- 2.Coro Miyare
- 4.Juan Pachanga
- 6.Foofer Soofer
- 8.Fania All Stars' Cha Cha Cha
- 9.Los Bravos
- 10.Que Pasa?
- 12.Peanuts (The Peanut Vendor)
- 13.Sin Tu Carino
The Fania All-Stars: Johnny Pacheco (vocals, flute, percussion); Papo Lucca (piano, keyboards); Bobby Valentin, Sal Cuevas (bass); Roberto Roena (bongos, percussion); Mongo Santamaria, Johnny Rodriguez, Ray Barretto (congas); Nicky Marreo (timbales).
Additional personnel includes: Ruben Blades, Celia Cruz, Hector Casanova, Patti Austin (vocals); Eric Gale, Steve Winwood (guitar); David Sanborn (alto saxophone); Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Marvin Stamm, Louis "Perico" Ortiz (trumpet); Louie Ramirez (vibraphone).
Producers: Jay Chataway, Jerry Masucci, Gene Page, Billy Page.
Compilation producer: Jerry Rappaport.
Recorded between 1976 & 1979. Includes liner notes by John Swenson.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Most listeners wouldn't consider this a proper best-of, despite the title, since it only includes material from the band's late-'70s stint with Columbia. Fania All-Stars' late-'70s stint with the label is usually rated as a time that saw them tone down their more ethnic and improvisational facets for a more pop-crossover reach. Generally that's true, but that doesn't mean that this record isn't generally worthwhile, though it might not be their purest brand of salsa. With three or four tracks apiece from their four 1976-1979 Columbia LPs, there are just four players who appear on all 13 songs: pianist Papo Lucca, timbalist Nicky Marrero, percussionist Robert Roena, and Pacheco on flute. There are way too many other musicians coming in and out to keep count of, some of them not from salsa backgrounds, like guitarist Steve Winwood (who played on the 1976 album Delicate and Jumpy), trumpeter Randy Brecker, and guitarist Eric Gale. Still, the main thrust is engaging salsa with some pop-friendly soul and fusion attributes that don't get too terribly slick (though at moments they get close), with major Latin singers Rub‚n Blades and Celia Cruz taking some vocals; "Isadora," featuring Cruz, is the highlight. At 74 minutes it's good value, too, though not the best Fania All-Stars album to start with. ~ Richie Unterberger
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