The Word: Whether it's Latin soul, Latin/salsa, jazz, or Latin jazz, Ray Barretto is the go-to name in conga players who are on everyone's albums (he worked plenty as a sideman, such as for Blue Note). As a leader, meaning on records under his own name, he made some of the most prized Latin-soul records. And there were plenty of before-and-after records everyone should have.
Here you'll find the Latin-soul records (Fania and otherwise) plus the odd good thing that may be salsa, Latin jazz, or perhaps an early charanga LP on Tico. As always, if it's New York Latin from the right era, you need originals to get the sound of the original masters.
Links: are to artists bio/discog pages in the Hyp Records guide:
Images: accurately represent items but are not always the exact copy listed/purchased
Discount: ALWAYS try to buy more than one item at a time
Ray Barretto: Senor 007; -- United Artists UAS-6478; 1966; deep groove, RARE true 1st press stereo in mono jacket E+/E- S $150 -- Latin soul/spy; a legend in high demand; first of his major Latin-soul LPs; despite the unlikely title, some funky cuts!; all early James Bond ST covers, except the original "I Wanna Be a James Bond Girl" (which just has a few minor pops--otherwise the disc plays perfectly); so early it has the mono jacket, it is the impossibly rare true FIRST stereo press--deep groove!--deeper sound than any other pressing! EXTREMELY SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY
Ray Barretto: Senor 007; -- United Artists UAS-6478; 1966; E-/E+ S $100 -- jacket's top left and right corners a little chewed (about 1/4" in and 1" down, as shown at left), otherwise first-rate; a much better LP and rarer collectors item than people realize!; great deal on the original; Mister Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Search for Vulcan, Jamaica Jump Up, Thunderball, From Russia with Love, I Wanna Be a James Bond Girl, 007, Underneath The Mango Tree, The James Bond Theme, Goldfinger
Ray Barretto: El "Ray" Criollo; United Artists UAS-6543; 1967/1966; E+/E+ S $75 -- Latin; his 10th LP as leader is one of his rarest; 11 tracks, including mambo, guajira, descarga, son montuno, guaguanco; this copy used to belong to Max Salazar, who signed it, as he did with all his records (it is indeed a small world of Latin rarities)
Ray Barretto: Latino con Soul; United Artists/West Side Latino WS-4053; 1975/1967; E/E- S $50 -- Latin soul; reissues his last UA LP (and then came "Acid!") minus 1 cut--the non-essential "Bilongo"--but that's balanced by the addition of great new Izzy Sanabria jacket-back artwork you don't get with the UA version!; w/Pete Bonet (responsible for Acid and Hard Hands being so great, too!); "Do You Dig It?" is the leading, rare, killer DJ cut; also great ones among Boogaloo con Soul, Happy Birthday Everybody, Fuego Pa'Lante, El Picor, Trompeta y Trombon, Eras..; several surface marks but none affect play
Ray Barretto: Acid; Fania LP-346; 1968; 1st, GOLD! (hollow logo/copyright label) E/E- $100 -- Latin soul; first press, great sound, near-excellent play but expect disc wear (mostly surface and unheard; Fania gold is famous for wearing well and still playing magnificently; this is no exception); one of the most exalted of all Fania/Latin-soul rarities, "Acid" is also one of the fantastic Pete Bonet albums (he sings on this and Hard Hands); it's always an event whenever an original NY pressing turns up (perfect first presses can sell for $500); El Nuevo Barretto, Mercy Mercy Baby, Acid, A Deeper Shade of Soul, The Soul Drummers, Sola te Dejare, Teacher of Love, Espiritu Libre
Ray Barretto: Acid; Fania SLP-346; 1968; 1972 2nd/cloud label [cutout] E/N S $200 -- Latin soul; yep, we have two of these bad boys, one uncut and one cutout, both super fine!; one of the most exalted of all Fania/Latin-soul rarities, "Acid" is also one of the fantastic Pete Bonet albums (he sings on this and Hard Hands); it's always an event whenever an original NY pressing turns up (perfect first presses can sell for $500); El Nuevo Barretto, Mercy Mercy Baby, Acid, A Deeper Shade of Soul, The Soul Drummers, Sola te Dejare, Teacher of Love, Espiritu Libre
Ray Barretto: Hard Hands; Fania SLP-362; 1968; 1972 pressing--palm label E-/N S $150 -- authentic NY pressing identical to the cloud label tho it's a palm-tree label instead (jacket & disc/pressing otherwise absolutely identical to cloud!); former radio-station copy but never played; disc is flawless!; own a legend!
Ray Barretto: Que Viva La Musica; Fania SLP-427; 1972; E/E S $40 -- Latin/Latin jazz; partly funky, top percussion throughout, very hip and GOOD; great record, top value
Ray Barretto: Tomorrow--Barretto Live; Atlantic SD-2-509; 1976; 2-LP gatefold cutout N/N S $25 -- Latin jazz; with guest Tito Puente on the side-long "Que Viva la Musica"; terrific set (his last great LP, at least for fans of the classic period) and his debut for the label; nice jacket art, too
© Hip Wax