No one was better than Ray Barretto at incorporating torrential percussive designs into the context of romantic dance songs. The band on 1973’s Indestructible features, among other players, a four-man horn section, a flute, and a backing chorus—not to mention the soaring lead vocals of Tito Allen. Yet what stands out most is the rhythm section, led by Barretto’s congos. It's the cascading salsa songs—“El Hijo De Obatala,” “Llanto De Cocodrilo,” and “Indestructible”—that sweep listeners off their feet with cyclical waves of instrumentation, propelled from beneath by the squad of bongos, congas, and timbales. Allen’s caramel-tinted vocals are the seductive focal point of slower tunes like “El Diablo” and “Yo Tengo Un Amor,” but this is a band that gets its heart from the percussion section. Here the drumming is neither decoration nor simply the foundation on which the songs are based. It's the sweetness and the spice in every song, the surprise ingredient that pulls in listeners regardless of the tone or style of the melody.