Bacalao Con Pan
Taka Taka Ta
Third instalment of Mr Bongo’s new Cuban Classic Series.
Grupo Irakere's iconic debut album from 1974. An Afro-Cuban, jazz-funk masterpiece. Featuring the heavy dancefloor burner, 'Bacalao Con Pan’.
Vinyl LP includes Cuban Classic Series Obi Strip.
For the third release in our Mr Bongo Cuban Classics series, we reissue the iconic 1974 debut album by the mighty Grupo Irakere. Led by Chucho Valdés, son of Cuban pianist and bandleader Bebo Valdés, the band would go on to become of the most influential and successful groups emanating from Cuba in this period. Their debut ‘Teatro Amadeo Roldan Recital’ is an in-demand and incredible Afro-Cuban, jazz-funk masterpiece originally landing on Cuba’s state-owned imprint, Areito.
One of the jewels of the album is the beast of an opener, 'Bacalao Con Pan’. A heavy dancefloor Latin-funk burner, with ripping Wah-Wah guitar, a blistering mix of Latin percussive elements and horns firing on all cylinders. It’s a song which builds and breaks with an energy and power that still lights up the dance to this very day.
The album is a varied bag of tricks, traversing moods, styles and genres whilst melding traditional rhythms with more contemporary mindsets. Take the delectable downtempo ballad ‘Danza Nañiga’ or ‘Valle Picadura’ that starts on a similar tip, before erupting into a horn heavy heater. Move through to find ‘Taka Taka Ta’ where Afro-Cuban jazz, call and response vocals and brain-busting organs marry in steamy unison.
Elsewhere, continuing this melting pot of musical influences, the prog/psychedelic rock leaning 'Quindiambo', expertly combines traditional Latin music with psych rock in a similar way to Santana. 'Misaluba' is another highlight, a cover version of a song by the British-Italian based group Cyan, written by Mario & Giosy Capuano, making it their own with this tripped-out, percussion-rich makeover.
As debuts go, Grupo Irakere’s ‘Teatro Amadeo Roldan Recital' is about as good as it gets and gives a snapshot of Cuba in the mid ‘70s, with a band that were destined for big things.