Ray Barretto Essentials

Apple Music Worldwide

Ray Barretto Essentials

While the ubiquitous Nuyorican conga player Ray Barretto brought the power and subtlety of Latin percussion to jazz, it was the stripped-down boogaloo dance hit "El Watusi" that launched his career as a bandleader. Tracks like the horns- and percussion-driven "Mercy Baby," from Acid, his 1967 Fania debut, etched a template for several deeply funky recordings. He returned to Fania in 1979 with Rican/Struction, whose progressive salsa sound was rooted in African rhythms. A later duet with Celia Cruz, "Ritmo en el Corazón," displays two Latin elders in mature rhythmic sympathy.