Lo Último en la Avenida cover

Lo Último en la Avenida


This 1971 album is a one-off in legendary salsa vocalist Ismael Rivera’s career; he had his own band, Los Cachimbos, but chose instead to record with a group led by popular timbalero Kako, and the results are stunning. This is high-energy, hard-charging music, all percussion and horns and pounding piano, and Rivera is driven to ecstatic heights, spitting out streams of syllables at seemingly impossible speed (just try to keep up with him on “El Cumbanchero”). The songs are all short, in the two- to three-minute range, and the lyrics are superficially simple, lacking the spiritual message and political subtext he’d deliver on other albums; “Entierro a la Moda” is the biggest surprise, all about the music he wants played at his funeral, shouting out Tito Puente, Roberto Roena, Willie Colón, Rafael Cortijo and others in the process.

Phil Freeman

Lo Mato cover

Lo Mato

Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón
The Alegre All-Stars cover

The Alegre All-Stars

Alegre All-Stars
Siembra cover


Willie Colón, Rubén Blades
Tocoloro cover


Arsenio Rodríguez
¡Ay Dios, Ampárame! cover

¡Ay Dios, Ampárame!

Juan Formell, Los Van Van
El Cantante cover

El Cantante

Marc Anthony
Irrepetible cover


Gilberto Santa Rosa
El Progreso cover

El Progreso

Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound
San Juan 73 cover

San Juan 73

Fania All-Stars