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FANIA ALL-STARS/OUR LATIN THING-1972 -PAL/NTSC-new dvd
THE FANIA ALL-STARS
"OUR LATIN THING"
On 19th July, 1972, the first few images flickering on the screen at the premiere of Our Latin Thing in New York’s Line 2 cinema brilliantly articulated the movie’s mood and sucked in its audience:
From a Spanish Harlem rooftop, an Hispanic boy watches the street below. Conga beats rumble like distant thunder. Racing down to street level, the youngster kicks an empty can. Immediately, Luis Cruz’s electric piano wah-wah chords burst into life, launching the majestic soul of Ray Barretto’s “Cochinando.” The bright tints of the boy’s T-shirt are reflected in the colourful graffiti:
“JERRY MASUCCI PRESENTS” - “STARRING THE FANIA ALL STARS” - “UNDER THE MUSICAL DIRECTION OF JOHNNY PACHECO.”
Now the camera trails the boy across New York’s El Barrio, through wire meshes, into unlit basements, over rubbish-filled stoops, past chunky Chevrolets into a burnt-out block where the neighbourhood are jamming like crazy. It’s a fantastic percussive groove. Their pride and confidence are tangible. As Piri Thomas noted in his classic 1967 Nuyorican memoir, “If you ain’t got heart, you ain’t got nada.” Our Latin Thing is about the urban Hispanic experience - NYC style.
Jerry Masucci, Fania label boss and the film’s producer, released the movie at the perfect time. Indeed, when the young boy kicked that can, he also helped kick Latin music into the stratosphere. A critical and commercial triumph, the film established Fania as the Latin label, transformed its musicians into superstars and detonated the ‘70’s salsa boom. Interestingly, in the movie there’s a telling scene. Interviewed by radio jock, Symphony Sid, Ray Barretto comments, “The thing I really hope happens is that the message and the feeling of unity and love that we have here, and our Latin music and culture, goes out all over the world.” Ray was absolutely right. And that sense of confidence, the feeling that something big is about to happen, runs through Our Latin Thing.
Featuring: Ray Barreto, Jonnhy Pacheco, Roberto Roena, Cheo Feliciano, Adalberto Santiago, Ismael Miranda, Hector Lavoe, Barry Rogers, Willy Colon, Santos Colon, Pete "el Conde" Rodríguez, Yomo Toro..and others.
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