10 Latin Albums for the Heat


When the temperature closes in on 95, as it did yesterday in New York, I put on Latin music. Growing up without air conditioning in Manhattan’s Washington Heights in the 1960s, heat meant the thumping beat of a big square electric fan, a wash cloth, and boogaloo and early salsa. You could hear the music walking down Broadway, especially from 158th to 175th streets.

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Over the years, I’ve collected quite a bit of Latin music with the guidance of friends (thanks, Ivan and Harry). I’m not sure how hot it is where you are, but when the heat is on, you’re ready for the following 10 albums:

Machito’s Kenya (1957). Here’s Conversation, featuring Cannonball Adderley, Doc Chetham, Eddie Bert, Ray Santos among others…

Johnny Blas’s Skin and Bones (1997). Here’s Cool Blas

Tito Puente’s Dance Mania (1957). Here’s El Cayuco…

Eddie Palmieri’s Azucar Pa‘ Ti (1965). Here’s Cuídate Compay

Charlie Palmieri’s Canta Vitin Aviles (1975). Here’s La Hija de Lola

Hector Lavoe’s Reventó (1985). Here’s De Que Tamaño Es Tu Amor

Celia Cruz’s Celia & Johnny (1974). Here’s Vieja Luna

Olga Guillot’s Faltaba yo (2001). Here’s No Sigas por Favor…

Martin & Oscar’s Su Majestad el Son y… Su Excelencia El Bolero (2007). Here’s Homenaje a Oriente

Los Hermanos Colon’s Natural (1994). Here’s Through the Years


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