2. Nice & Warm
4. Viva Martínez
5. I Know
7. Hot Blood
Rubén Blades: Acoustic guitar, background vocal on Sometimes
Brian Brake: Drums
Randy Brecker: Trumpet, Fluegelhorn on sometimes, genesis, viva martinez, hot blood
Jimmy Delgado: Timbales
Jon Faddis: Trumpet on guajira, diana, I know, perico
Babi Floyd: Background vocal, solo on guajira
Lani groves: Background vocal
Steve Khan: Guitar
Lou Marini: Tenor sax, flute
Eddie Martínez: Acoustic, electric piano, synthesizer solo on viva martinez and genesis
Eddie Montalvo: Conga on diana, guajira and perico
Keith O´Quin: trombone
Luis Ortíz: Trumpet, fluegelhorn, flute, synthesizer, piano, persuccion (plays all these parts on perico)
Eddie "Gua Gua" Rivera: Bass
Edwin Rodríguez: Acoustic guitar, synthesizer on genesis
Johnny Rodríguez Jr.: Bongo, guiro on I Know, conga on Interludes
Pablito Rosario: Bongo, cowbell, percussion
Allan Rubin: Trumpet, fluegelhorn
Lew Soloff: Trumpet, fluegelhorn
Yolanda McCollough: Background vocal
Israel "Sabú" Morales: Bata (Omele) on hot blood
Jorge Santiago: Lead vocal on diana and I Know, background vocal on sometimes
Wilfredo "Moreno" Tejada: Bata (Iya) on hot blood
Carlos "Patato" Valdéz: Conga
Dominico Valdez Jr.: Bata (Oconcolo) on hot blood
Ed Walsh: Synthesizer programming and solo on perico
What an opportunity to revisit some of the hottest music of the seventies, played by the greats of that era! Ruben Blades, one of the many side players on this album, was then at the dawn of his career. This re-issue reflects a glorious era of experimentation and the birth of what we now call "fusion."
In "My Own Image" trumpeter Luis "Perico" Ortiz combines diverse Latin, rock, funk, and jazz influences in a pleasing melange. Originally recorded in 1978 on analog two-inch tape under the watchful eye of LP founder Martin Cohen, the album has now been transferred to digital. The liner notes are lovingly reproduced and show, all in all, eight songs. Six of these, however, incorporate percussion interludes - snippets under a minute in length.
When transferring the material to digital, the pauses between these songs and interludes became breaks. Consequently, "song/interlude" is now "two tracks" instead of the single song shown in the liner notes. Presto: we now have fourteen tracks!
Track One, a funky Ruben Blades composition, "Sometimes," leads off with raucous steam train horn swells, then graduates to the unison lead vocals so popular in the seventies. A female vocal refrain comments on the longings of the male lead vocal. The song fades to a percussion refrain: read this as Track Two.
Track Three on your CD player is "Nice and Warm (Guajira)" and features the entire New York session Mafia, including the Brecker Brothers on horns, Steve Khan on guitar, and Brian Brake on drums. Starting as a Cha-Cha, the arrangement takes a quick lurch into fast Latin rock (3:08-3:11). Percussionists Jimmy Delgado, Pablito Rosario, and the great Carlos "Patato" Valdez leap into action! Bang! Then it's back to the Cha-Cha.
Track Five is "Diana," a lovely ballad carried by Fender Rhodes piano and horns. Wear headphones - check out the sound of the hand drums. All the slaps, muted and open tones come to the fore. Ortiz's fluid trumpet work and round tone establishes the mood. On the fade, he gets frisky and lets loose a few flashy lines (5:15), just a hint of what he is capable of doing on the horn.
"Viva Mart?nez" is jazz Latin that just flies along, at first propelled by Brake's ride cymbal work, until - at the top of Ortiz's solo - the percussionists take over. The arrangement segues into another seventies device, the analog synthesizer solo. Eddie Mart?nez plays horn-like lines that set Ortiz up for a final solo.
And now the piece de resistance, an Ortiz/Harlow composition, "I Know." Guaranteed: once you get past the tricky intro, you will be humming the refrain for days! A hybrid Cuban/funk dance tune, "I Know" yields new gems each time you listen: Martinez's synthesizer vamp on the chorus, Rodriguez's guiro, Jon Faddis's trumpet - all this in addition to that catchy chorus! The icing is a wonderful Guaguancho percussion interlude.
And, finally, it's "Perico" - hard jazz funk in the Miles Davis tradition - and then we're done with an album that suffers only one fault: it's far too short.Rumbéatelo: