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El Condado De La Salsa y Jazz Latino October 2020 by Nelson Rodriguez

If you like to get a historical perspective on your radio listening experience and want learn more about the songs and the artists you love then you should tune in to I have been with them for three months and you will get a kick out of the programs there including my shows “El Condado De La Salsa y Jazz Latino” on Friday’s from 6pm-8pm (PST) and “Jazzeando En El Valle” on Tuesday’s from 3pm-6pm (PST). You get to hear the new, the old and the rare with tidbits on the music and be part of the whole experience by joining our family at

Great music continues to pop up with artists becoming more creative in the concepts they incorporate and not selling out to commercial concepts that will get them no air play on commercial radio.

An exception can possibly be the new Gilberto Santa Rosa 19 track release, “Colegas”, where Gilberto chose to not go with Romantic Salsa and instead call upon 16 of his friends to provide their vocal talents and showcase the harder side if Gilberto Santa Rosa. Gilberto’s idea was to look for vocalists that best fit his idea for each song selected. What he presents is a possible Grammy winner next year.

The hits here are endless with Victor Manuelle who joins GSR on “El Mejor Sonero”, Tito Nieves on “La Familia” (done by Jose Curbelo & Ray Barretto), Tito Rojas “Por La Calle Del Mundo”, Choco Orta “Guateque De Chombo” (Graciela & Mario Bauza) with the piano solo by Dino Nugent, ex- Raphy Leavitt vocalist Carlitos Ramirez “Estoy Como Nunca” (Tito Rodriguez), Issac Delgado “Nos Vamos A Bailar El Son” (Jr. Gonzalez), Maelo Ruiz “La Fonda De Bienvenido” (Arsenio Rodriguez) with the piano solo by Luis Marin, Herman Olivera “Egue Tumbao” (Jose Curbelo), the young sensation Pirulo “Que Se Sepa” (Roberto Roena y su Apollo Sound), Nino Segarra “Medley de Boleros”, Luisito Carrion “Apaga La Luz”, Yan Collazo “Tremendo Coco” & Ismael Rivera Jr. “Bailadores” (both by The Joe Cuba Sextet), Jose Alberto ‘El Canario’ “Masacote” (Machito) with the bongo solo by John ‘Dandy’ Rodriguez, Juan Jose Hernandez “Ocana Sordi” (Los Guarcheros Del Oriente) with the timbal solo by Charlie Sierra, and Michelle Brava “Mario Ague” (Celia Cruz) with the trumpet solo by Jan Duclerc.

Three tracks featured Gilberto by himself and all can be huge hits for him. Tito Puente & Ray Barretto’s “Ban Ban Quere” and “Caminalo” (his big catch phrase that Willie Rosario suggested to GSR to come up with) was originally done by trumpeter Maite Hontele, from Holland, in 2015 but adapted to this new version.

“Sonerito” is one of the surprises in the CD as arranger Isidro Infante mentioned to me, in a phone conversation, “Gilberto asked me for an arrangement that would include a surprise bongo solo and the surprise was Gilberto doing the solo himself”.

The names on the credits between the arrangers and musicians is a ‘who’s who’ that included Orestes Vilato, Marty Sheller, Paquito Guzman, Javier Fernandez, Ricky Gonzalez, Jose Madera, Meñique, Justo Betancourt, Ramon Sanchez, Louis Garcia, Rafi Torres, Sammy Garcia, Manolito Rodriguez, Richie Bastar, Jimmie Morales, Johnny Torres, Angie Machaco, Reynaldo Jorge, Victor Vazquez, Toñito Vazquez, Pedro Perez, Frankie Perez, Sammy Velez and Pablo ‘El Indio’ Rosario to just name a few Hall of Famers.

Another big surprise of this past summer comes to us from Las Islas Canarias de Tenerife. Venezuelan Johnny Ysmael Salaverria formed the charanga based Maelo y su Klan and recorded the CD “Ritmo y Sabor’ with the lead single “Espiritualmente” (this was a huge hit for Sexteto Juventud) and excels with his versions of “Salsa En Nueva York” (Novel), the Christmas song “Felicidades” (Cheo Feliciano), “Colombia”, “Camino Al Barrio” (Willie Colon), “El Oso y La Osa” (Tito Rodriguez), “Mujeres Sin Conciencia” (Trio La Rosa) and “Abrele Camino Al Son” (Elio Reve). While they are all covers Maelo gives them a special modern taste dancers will truly enjoy.

Arranger & Producer Julio Cesar Estrada (Billo’s Caracas Boys) who also plays tres, piano and violin is a major factor in the success of this new recording as is vocalist Paquito Baron (ex- Orquesta Bronco).

I remember Marco Bermudez from his days with Isidro Infante’s La Elite and then with Los Jovenes Del Barrio led by drummer Johnny Almendra both for the RMM label. His schooling with these bands was rewarded when the Spanish Harlem Orchestra was formed and he went on a 15-year journey with the band that has led to his solo recording debut, “En MI Voz”.

Various Spanish Harlem Orchestra members Mitch Frohman, Doug Beavers, Jeremy Bosch, Luisito Quintero (Quinteros Salsa Project), George Delgado and Carlos Cascante have all had solo recordings and now it was Marco’s time.

The introduction “En Mi Voz” come in the summer release of “Canto A Mi Mama” written by Jeremy Bosch and the CD production was well handled By Oscar Hernandez one of today’s top notched producers, arranger and pianist.

Marco shines on the tracks “Amanecer Contigo”, “Unicamente Tu”, “El Toston De Maria”, “Flor De Azelea”, “La Salprieta”  and the new single “A Ti No Te Ha Dicho” backed by members of SHO in what will be one of the best debuts of 2020.

Group Gale has had a long rich history of recordings led by one of Colombia’s greatest names Diego Gale and today brings us their latest, “Justa Calma”, that starts off with their lead single “Prohibido” a Salsa Romantica hit in Colombia. “Me Quedo En Ecuador”, “Palo Pa La rumba”, “Me La Gozo” and “La Gente Pide” have made my hit parades at radio.

Fans of Grupo Gale will not be disappointed by this new CD!