LP - Limited Edition 180g Vinyl in a single pocket jacket.
Revered, even deified, Ismael Rivera occupies the berth in the Latin music pantheon by being designated “El Sonero Mayor” (the foremost improvising Latin singer). Beginning in the mid-1950’s, as a member of Rafael Cortijo’s groundbreaking combo, he was involved in modernizing the Puerto Rican music and dance forms, the bomba and plena, and breaking down the island’s racial barriers.
After serving nearly four years in prison for cocaine possession, Rivera reunited with Cortijo on two mid-1960’s releases for Tico Records, Bienvenido! / Welcome! (1966) and Con Todos Los Hierros (Everything But The Kitchen Sink!) (1967). Uncomfortable with life as a high-profile ex-drug offender in Puerto Rico, Rivera escaped to the anonymity of New York. In 1967, while visiting the home of the Black Christ in Portobelo, Panama, Rivera had a profound religious experience. At the end of the year he decided to form his own band, called Los Cachimbos.
Tito Puente produced the follow-up Controversia (c. 1969). In 1971, Kako joined Maelo for Lo Ultimo En La Avenida, co-arranged by Cuban pianist, arranger and composer Javier Vázquez, who became a regular sideman with Rivera and later musical director of Los Cachimbos. He wrote all the arrangements on their 1972 release Esto Fué Lo Que Trajo El Barco, the title of which is a “hipster” expression common in the drug culture with a meaning akin to “that’s all she wrote” or “what you see is what you get.” “It is one of Ismael Rivera’s most joyous and introspective albums. Ismael is in good form,” comments Ray Rosado, leader of Maña and a longstanding observer of Maelo’s career. Dime Por Qué, written by Pedro García, was the major hit of the album.
Apparently, his religious outlook and will to survive helped him recover and successfully resume his musical career. He issued seven more solo albums between 1973 and 1980.
A1. Yumbo Agua Tana Oh!
A2. Dime Por Que
A3. La Vaca Lechera
A5. La Mañia De Tu Mujer
B1. San Miguel Arcangel
B3. La Gata Montesa
B4. Hasta Mañana
B5. Traigo Salsa