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Ray Barretto

While Ray Barretto's congas have graced more recording sessions than virtually any other conguero of his time, he has also led some refreshingly progressive Latin jazz bands over the decades. His records often have a more tense, more adventurously eclectic edge than those of most conventional salsa groups, unafraid to use electronics and novel instrumental or structural combinations, driven hard by his rocksteady, endlessly flexible percussion work. This no doubt reflects Barretto's wide range of musical interests and also the fact that he came to Latin music from jazz, rather than the usual vice versa route for Latin-descended musicians. Indeed, he has said that he learned how to play swing-style before he came to master Latin grooves. Puerto Rican by extraction, Barretto took up the congas while stationed in Germany during an Army hitch. He began working with American jazz musicians upon his return to New York, eventually replacing Mongo Santamaria in the Tito Puente band for four years, beginning in the late '50s. Barretto made his debut as a leader for Riverside in 1962 and scored a crossover hit (number 17 on the pop charts) the following year on Tico with "El Watusi" (in tandem with a dance craze of the time). He tried to modernize the charanga sound with injections of brass, covering rock and pop tunes of the time as several Latin artists did then. However, Barretto made his main mark in the '60s as a super session player, playing on albums by Gene Ammons, Cannonball Adderley, Kenny Burrell, Lou Donaldson, Red Garland, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Cal Tjader, and several other jazz and pop albums. In moving over to the Fania label in 1967, Barretto began to achieve recognition as one of the leading Latin jazz artists of the day, eventually becoming music director of the Fania All-Stars. In the '70s, he was incorporating rock and funk influences into his music -- with only limited success -- while recording for Atlantic, and in 1981, he made a highly regarded album for CTI La Cuna, with Puente, Joe Farrell, and Charlie Palmieri as guest players. He became music director of the Bravisimo television program and took part in the multi-idiom, all-star, anti-apartheid Sun City recording and video in 1985. In 1992, he unveiled a new Latin jazz sextet, New World Spirit, which made some absorbingly unpredictable albums for Concord Picante. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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I Love it!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Lo mejor de Ray Barretto
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hector.barre t o 3
WE LOVE YOUR WORK AND YOUR LEGACY UNCLE RAY. YOU REDEFINED NOT ONLY SALSA BUT LATIN JAZZ. QUE VIVA LA SALSA INDESTRUCTIB L E . HECTOR BARRETO
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Wepaaaaaaaa
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Very inspiring to read all these comments about one of the best Salseros ever. I was fortunate enough to have grown up in the mid 70's and early 80's having been exposed to what I consider the golden era of NYC Salsa. Clubs like El Corso, Chezsensual, Casa Borinquen, Casablanca in midtown and so many more bring back great memories of my youth and how I partied so much, the block parties, crashing house parties like it was cool. Vaya!.
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One of the best congas player for ever Que viva las salsas
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Adiviname
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Mirame de frente...epa
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Boricuas the best of the best in the whole world ñetaaaaa
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Time for salsa!!!
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Boricua 4ever, epa
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I live for salsa
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Con Barreto y Mongo. .best congas player ever. .mister MANOS DURAS!!
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When I was a child I played on my mothers hair spray cans to all the greats,when she cleaned I played,I told my mother I wanted to be the best conga player like Ray Barretto, I dreamed and fantasizes being on stage and by the grace of the most higher power I preform on stage playingCONGA S for Soundboy Cartagena y Su Orquesta.we are from Bushwick,I'm MIKEY CONGAS,I love you Ray,thank you for your inspiration
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Growing up playing on my mothers hair spray cans I listened to her music while she cleaned,when it was time for the long playing to drop on the flat rubber surface I waited to hear this great man play and I would see me at a very young age of 7years old being on stage just like him and many others. I am on stage playing just like Mr.Ray Barreto,I play to the rhythm of Spanglish hip hop with Sound Cartagena y Su Orquesta, I'm MIKEY CONGAS from Bushwick Blum,you will always be my mentor RAY.......
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LAS MANOS DURAS DE LA SALSA,SU MUSICA SIEMPRE VIVIRA CON TODOS LOS SALSEROS Y CONGUEROS
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Best music ever
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Salsaaaaaaaa
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The best in music of all time
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100% THE BEST
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Salsa mas salsa que pezcao PR 100%♡
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salsa dura...still playing at my fiestas... salsa na ma
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Ray Barretto, post ghetto, blaster master, conga everlonga, mas pica compadre.
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Ray plays Conga like Carlos plays Guitar!
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MR. HARD HANDS
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The best of the best they dont makemusic like this anymore
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��
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The 70's were the best.
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esto es musica
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Ray Barretto ♡ salsa
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Mi orquesta favorita en mi juventud
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dont read this because it actually works. You will
get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the
love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of
your life. however if you do not post this comment
to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now
youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so
scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143
minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers
name will appear on the screen in big letters this is
scary cuz it actually work
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Pa' Gozar !
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Creci con esta salsa mi gente. ....1970s
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Damas y Cabelloros d Ray Barretto
Wow que Mostró
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I dance to this artist and music in West Africa..... and NY love it!
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summitstreet
weeeepaaaa too!!
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Wepaaaaaaaa
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cano-144
Esto.si.es.p u r a . s a l s a . . p a . . q u e . g o z e . p a p a
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I dedicate this to Tootsi,e ,Lillian,Ton e y Gorilla myself and all those who danced this number @the Round Table back in the day
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mtorres_33
Me encanta la salsa de los 60,70,80 naci en la era ekivokada me ubiese encantado vivir esa era viva la salsa
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Sergio Andujar/Grac i a s Ray/Manos Dura Para Siempre
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oscara50
Romantica
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Growing up in NY in the 60's,, and 70's that was my band.
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My last name is barre to too from aguadilla Puerto rico
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This music lives 4ever, thank u Ray Barretto
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Ray growing up I love your music thank you for the memories you were great!
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El unlco como el nadie. Susfamosas Manos. Duras
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eqrecov.ew
Love the Bio, info. On Pandora, about these great Latin artist and the great comments.
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eqrecov.ew
Thank u Ray WOW!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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