Various Artists – Subway Salsa: The Montuno Records Story

January 01, 1970

(Record Mart/VampiSoul/Munster)


Record Mart was part of the Times
Square subway station in Manhattan,
like any other smoke shop, gum carrier, or bagel joint. That is for the fact
that, once-upon-a-time, it was the home of Montuno Records, a tiny independent
label started by proprietor Jesse Moskowitz for the heart and shopping mania of
the Latino music community.


Record Mart was, to New York City listeners,
as powerful and influential AN entity as Bleeker Bob’s and Other Music – only
it had a lethal label attached to it. Then (the 1970s) and now, Record Mart is
Mecca for true (not trend-driven) Tropicalia, Afro-Antillean soul, Nuyorican
salsa, Haitian compass, Brazilian show jazz and Cubano music from subtly
percussive rumba, violin and flute filled charangas and surround-sound brassy


Traditions were born here, and
they are newly resurrected on this compilation from the astute Spanish
archivists at Vampi Soul/Munster.


While the light and flighty tones
of jazz giant Airto Moreira (with “Aquí Se Puede”) is a name familiar to rock’s
smarter set, the funky Brazilian hustle of Yambu (“Caballo,” “Vecindad”) is
here and not to be confused with Tambo’s slick racy salsa (“Coco My Way,”
“Mientras Yo Viva”). The wild timbale-crammed jam-jazz of Manny Oquendo and his
Libre orchestra (“Báilala Pronto,” “Estoy Como Nunca”) the hot and crotchety
charanga of Lou Perez (“Bon Bon du Chocolate”) and the raunchy rumba of Totico
“What’s Your Name?”) is here too.


But it is not the individual, but
the mass groove exodus that makes Subway
Salsa: The Montuno Records Story
a full and zesty meal. Hot cha.


DOWNLOAD:  “A Sandy” (Skah Shah), “El Avance” (Son
Primero), “Songo Y Guantanamo” (Son de la Loma) A.D. AMOROSI


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