Ray Barretto – Hard Hands

Ray Barretto’s Hard Hands, the sequel to Acid, was released in 1968. He had come up as a conguero, working for Tito Puente and others but went solo after he had a hit with “El Watusi” in 1961. Perhaps because of the strong R&B component in his music, the vocals are in English, which obviously would give it a broader appeal in New York’s radio airwaves of the time, particularly among the African-American community. The title cut refers to the thundering power of Ray’s conga-playing, a nickname that would forever stick with him, and is followed by “Abidjan”, one of Ray’s biggest hits, a tribute to the Ivorian capital from which he had recently returned from exploring. The sounds of Mozambique, Mambo, Boogaloo, Funk, Bembé, and Soul are perfectly blended on this album making it an essential selection from the Fania catalog.

Ray Barretto – Hard Hands; Fania, 1968

Ray Barretto - Hard Hands

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