Thursday, June 16, 2011

Salsa Party: Pedro Conga y Su Orquesta Internacional

I’d like to be able to tell you more about Pedro Conga because I’ve loved this collection of Puerto Rican salsa ever since I picked it up in New York many years ago.  This blurb from AMG will have to suffice for now.

Pedro Conga
Though many of salsa and Latin jazz music's most successful bandleaders have been congueros and percussionists, the majority fell from public notice when the salsa market waned in the mid- to late '80s. Pedro Conga, however, experienced the very height of his success at a time when other salseros were packing up and going home. His landmark album, No Te Quites la Ropa, hit number two on Billboard's Tropical Salsa charts in 1989, well after the U.S. salsa boom of the '70s had subsided. Born in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Conga got his start backing up the vocalist Justo Betancourt, with whom he had performed throughout Latin America and Europe. Through his association with Betancourt, Conga earned spots in the bands of salsa luminaries like Tito Rojas, Anthony Cruz, and Maelo Ruiz, among others. A talented arranger as well as a skilled instrumentalist, Conga set his sights on leading his own group. Pedro Conga y Su Orquesta Internacional were introduced to the salsa-listening world with their self-titled debut record in 1972. With over 17 records to their credit since that time and a career that has spanned over 35 years, Conga is one of few bandleaders with the staying power necessary to thrive in the sometimes difficult salsa market. Celebrating 35 years, Pedro Conga y Su Orquesta Internacional released Con el Golpe de Siempre in 2007, featuring the single "No Me La Pongas Dura," a radio hit throughout the States and the band's native Puerto Rico alike.

With such a strong and long track record you’d expect this record to be highly fun and danceable.  And it is. The lead singer (Senor Conga?) has a wonderful bell like voice and the brass is punchy and full.  A great spinner for your next party. Or even just for dusting around the house on a sunny day.

         Track Listing:
       01 Si Supieras
02 Vives con El
03 El Precio
04 Me Niegas Tanto Amor
05 Tiene el Banco
06 Te Quiero Amor
07 Trata Conmigo
08 Amor Amor Amor

Listen here


Jesse said...

The lead singers name is Maelo Ruiz.

ajnabi said...

Thank You Jesse. He's got a lovely voice!