Legendary percussionist Raymond Barretto, a.k.a Ray Barretto, was proficient in a wide variety of Latin musical styles as well as Latin jazz. Throughout his career he became one of the leading champions of boogaloo, a genre that rose up in the late 1960’s and would later be known as salsa! He was a member of Tito Puente’s orchestra from 1957 to 1960, forming his own orchestra in 1961 – as well a being a highly demanded session musician! And if this isn’t impressive enough, he was also a master of the Descarga genre (improvised jam session) and a long-time member of the Fania All-Stars – who you may remember me covering earlier this year when I featured Willie Colon, Héctor Lavoe & Yomo Toro’s, La Murga.
Ray Barretto began releasing in the late 50’s and continued to issue his stunning percussive sounds with great success for the next 50+ years! Songs such as Cocinando and Indestructible have become the staple part of many a Latin dance floor and his last album for Fania Records (Soy dichoso)was released in 1990! Music was his life and even into his 60’s and 70’s he continued to record and release music, forming the New World Spirit jazz ensemble with whom he continued to tour and record with until his death in 2006.
Mercy, Mercy, Baby is taken from his 1968 album, Acid, which was released on Fania Records! Everything about this invigorates my senses! From the triumphant horns to the plush vocals; every beat, burst and crash of glistening percussion radiates! Smashing stuff this is!!! Check it above and listen to the rest of Acid here.