Cheo Feliciano started out as a percussionist before revealing his stunning baritone voice with Joe Cuba’s and Eddie Palmieri’s bands. Drugs derailed his career, though; when he returned, with this 1971 album, the salsa community rallied around him. Legendary composer Tite Curet Alonso wrote six of the nine tracks, and the band included percussionist Johnny Pacheco, vibraphonist Louie Ramirez, pianist Larry Harlow, and bassist Bobby Valentin, with subtle touches of electric guitar and tres giving the arrangements a jazzy feel, particularly on the ballad “Pienso En Ti.” With its mix of uptempo tracks, which Feliciano seems to sing at a very slight remove as the male chorus (which includes Pacheco, Ismael Quintana, and Justo Betancourt) tries to draw him into the party, and achingly romantic slow songs, this is nothing so much as a Latin equivalent to one of Frank Sinatra’s classic 1950s concept albums.

Phil Freeman