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Arsenio Rodriguez -- Viva Arsenio -- Arsenio Rodriguez & The Afro-Cubano Sound Of Now! ...
An incredible record and very unique -- cut around the same time as Arsenio's rare boogaloo album for Tico Records! Like that session, this one has a style in which Arsenio is featured in a larger group -- playing with a raspy edge that really steps out in front of the fuller instruments and voices! The group's a great one -- playing here with a few early Latin Soul touches, and in a way that mixes together different modes in a really unusual approach to the grooves. Arsenio's sound is still quite rootsy, but the larger backings are quite tight -- and often done with a nod to more popular soul modes of the time. The whole thing was put together by producer Bert Berns, with arrangements by the great Artie Butler -- and it's got a freewheeling New York groove that's as close to Latin Soul as Arsenio ever came! Includes Latin Soul versions of "Hang On Sloopy" and "La Bamba", plus the tracks "La Yuca", "Tres Marias", "Randy", "Vaya P'al Monte", and "El Elemento Del Bronx", a groovy guaguanco track!