14 Songs, 1 Hour 28 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The all-too-vague title “Greatest Hits Live” disguises that this album captures a very significant moment in Ray Barretto’s long career: his appearance at Puerto Rico’s Tito Puente Auditorium on April 27, 2001, a concert some critics called the conguero’s “farewell to salsa.” After moving freely between the worlds of Latin music and jazz for more than four decades, Barretto would spend the years before his 2006 death focusing on jazz pursuits. This set proves he didn’t abandon salsa for lack of inspiration; the recording could easily pass for a document of Barretto’s early-'70s prime. The extended performances of “El Hijo de Obatalá,” “Indestructible," and “Arrepientete” are simultaneously sensual and incendiary. Barretto was one of the few bandleaders able to fully blend the freight-train momentum of a big band with the intricacies of Afro-Cuban rhythms. His stature within Puerto Rican culture is virtually unparalleled, as proven by the long list of legendary singers who showed up to contribute to this penultimate performance, including Ray de la Paz, Adalberto Santiago, Victor Manuelle, Yolanda Rivera, and Tito Allen.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The all-too-vague title “Greatest Hits Live” disguises that this album captures a very significant moment in Ray Barretto’s long career: his appearance at Puerto Rico’s Tito Puente Auditorium on April 27, 2001, a concert some critics called the conguero’s “farewell to salsa.” After moving freely between the worlds of Latin music and jazz for more than four decades, Barretto would spend the years before his 2006 death focusing on jazz pursuits. This set proves he didn’t abandon salsa for lack of inspiration; the recording could easily pass for a document of Barretto’s early-'70s prime. The extended performances of “El Hijo de Obatalá,” “Indestructible," and “Arrepientete” are simultaneously sensual and incendiary. Barretto was one of the few bandleaders able to fully blend the freight-train momentum of a big band with the intricacies of Afro-Cuban rhythms. His stature within Puerto Rican culture is virtually unparalleled, as proven by the long list of legendary singers who showed up to contribute to this penultimate performance, including Ray de la Paz, Adalberto Santiago, Victor Manuelle, Yolanda Rivera, and Tito Allen.

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