Joe Cuba

Like many of the greats before him, Joe Cuba (Gilberto Calderon) started as a timbalero and then vibes player before emerging as a bandleader and composer-arranger of considerable strength and popularity. His sextet featured top vocalists, chief of whom was Jimmy Sabater, and his later work was aided by the likes of Louie Ramirez, Alphonse Mouzon, Hector Rivera, Marty Sheller, and Sonny Bravo.

Cuba did not make many records, but he managed to reach the top of the heap at each critical stage. My Man Speedy has some of the most memorable "psychedelic" boogaloo, while Bustin' Out features "Do You Feel It?," his great spoken-word, barrio answer to "Harlem River Drive," Donny Hathaway's "The Ghetto," and similar soul classics. Cookin' the Sauce shows Cuba at the top of his game in 1976 -- always hip, always tasteful without being stuffy.

Joe Cuba LPs

Joe Cuba Orchestra (Merengue Loco); Mardi Gras/Embajador E-6002 (budget reissue of Mardi Gras)
5Joe Cuba & his Orchestra; Mardi Gras/Embajador E-6003 (budget reissue of Mardi Gras)
7Joe Cuba Sextet: I Tried to Dance All Night; Mardi Gras LP-5017 (Joe Cuba Sextet, Vol. 1: Mardi Gras Music for Dancing; Mardi Gras SLP-5017)
7Joe Cuba Sextet: Cha Cha Chas to Soothe the Savage Beast; Mardi Gras LP-5021 (Joe Cuba Sextet, Vol. 2: Mardi Gras Music for Dancing Vol. 2; Mardi Gras SLP-5021)
7Joe Cuba Sextet: Red, Hot, & Cha Cha Cha; Mardi Gras LP-5023 (silver label is true stereo)
6Joe Cuba Sextette: Steppin' Out; Seeco SCLP-9248; 1963
7Joe Cuba Sextette: Diggin' the Most; Seeco SCLP-9259 (prod. Joe Cain)
6Joe Cuba Sextette: Breakin' Out--A Collection of Their Very Best; Seeco SCLP-9292 (compilation; 3 cuts not on the previous 2 LPs)
6Joe Cuba Sextet: Vagabundeando!/Hangin' Out; Tico SLP-1112; 1964
6Joe Cuba Sextet: El Alma del Barrio/The Soul of Spanish Harlem; Tico SLP-1119; 1964
6Joe Cuba Sextet: Bailadores; Tico SLP-1124
7Joe Cuba Sextet: Estamos Haciendo Algo Blen!/We Must Be Doing Something Right; Tico SLP-1133 (w/"Clave Mambo"--Latin jazz)
8Joe Cuba Sextet: Bang! Bang! Push, Push, Push (Wanted Dead or Alive); Tico SLP-1146; 1966 (Latin-soul classic)
6Joe Cuba Presents the Velvet Voice of Jimmy Sabater; Tico SLP-1152 (ballads)
9Joe Cuba Sextet: My Man Speedy; Tico SLP-1161
9Joe Cuba Sextet: Lo Mejor de/The Best of; Tico SLP-1197 (1/2 from My Man Speedy)
7Joe Cuba Sextet: Recuerdos de Mi Querido Barrio (En el Stoop)/Memories of My Beloved Neighborhood (On the Stoop); Tico SLP-1226; 1970
8Joe Cuba Sextet: Bustin' Out; Tico CLP-1300; 1972
7Joe Cuba Sextet: Hecho y Derecho/Doin' it Right; Tico SLP-1312; 1973
7Joe Cuba: Cocinando La Salsa/Cookin' the Sauce; Fania/Tico TSLP-1405; 1976
6Joe Cuba: El Pirata del Caribe/The Caribbean Pirate; Fania/Tico JMTS-1434; 1979 (prod. Louie Ramirez; w/Sabater, "Candido" Rodriguez..)

Partly Joe Cuba LPs

6Sonny Rossi & Concord Hotel Orchestra/Joe Cuba & his Orchestra: Out of this World Cha Cha; Mardi-Gras LP-5013
7Joe Cuba/Sonny Rossi: Merengue Loco; Mardi Gras/Disco Embajador 6003
La Playa Sextet/Al Castellanos/Sonny Rossi/Joe Cuba/Johnny Conquet: Full House; Mardi-Gras LP-5018
7Tico All-Stars: Descargas at the Village Gate Vol. 1: Tico SLP-1135 (Chocolate Armenteros, Ray Barretto, Cachao, Candido, Joe Cuba, Johnny Pacheco, Charlie Palmieri, Eddie Palmieri, Victor Paz, Chino Pozo, Tito Puente, Barry Rogers, Jimmy Sabater..)
5Tico All-Stars: Descargas at the Village Gate Vol. 2: Tico SLP-1145
7Tico All-Stars: Descargas at the Village Gate Vol. 3: Tico SLP-1155
6Tico All-Stars: Recorded Live at Carnegie Hall Vol. 1: Tico CLP-1325; 1974 (Tito Puente, Joe Cuba, Charlie Palmieri, La Lupe, Alegre All Stars..)
8Various: 12 Top Tunes 1967; Tico TRLP-1163; 1967 (compilation of Tico/Alegre prod. Pancho Cristal; 1/2 Latin soul; "Bang! Bang!"; Pete Rodriguez, La Lupe, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Celio Gonzalez, Ismael Rivera/Cortijo, Ricardo Ray, Charlie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Hugo Leonel Vacarro, Los Chavales de Espana)
7Various: Canciones Mi Mama No Me Enseno/Spanish Songs Mama Never Taught Me; Tico SLP-1111 (Joe Cuba, Miguelito Valdes, Tito Puente, Machito, Graciela)
7Various: Mas Canciones Mi Mama No Me Enseno/More Spanish Songs Mama Never Taught Me; Tico SLP-1120 (same artists)
7Various: Recordando a Arsenio; Tico SLP-1231

Joe Cuba 45s

7Joe Cuba & his Cha Cha Boys: Ritmo de Cha Cha/Juan Jose (the Pud-Da-Dine-Cha Cha); Rainbow 45-370

Joe Cuba 78s

7Joe Cuba & his Cha Cha Boys: Ritmo de Cha Cha/Juan Jose (the Pud-Da-Dine-Cha Cha); Rainbow 370

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