Before I talk about this week’s selection I’d first like to say a few words about the passing of a true legend and one of our favourite artists here on Gazfunk – The Mighty Hannibal. Hannibal (or James Timothy Shaw) died on Thursday past at the age of 74. Despite losing his sight in later years, he still strived to enjoy his life as much as possible and continued on with his larger than life personality. An inspiring and influential character has gone and we here at Gazfunk would like to pass on our sympathies to Hannibal’s family & friends. R.I.P.
On to today’s artist and we bring you one of the legendary figures within the latin music scene of the 60s & 70s, Mr Willie Colon. Colon first signed to Fania at the tender age of 15 and by 17 had cut his first LP which sold a highly respectable 300,000 copies. As well as his music career, Colon also developed an interest in politics and civil rights and became a campaigner for civil & human rights at the age of 16. This led to him later becoming a member of the Latino Commission on Aids as well as a post with the U.N.
Colon’s musical style encompasses jazz, rock, salsa and is influenced by music from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil & Africa. He is widely regarded as being the most successful artist in the salsa genre having sold an estimated 30 million records worldwide. He still performs to this day and occasionally performs with the legendary Fania All-Stars. As if this wasn’t enough to take up enough of Colon’s time he has also appeared in a few films!!
Today’s selection is the b-side of a track entitled “Toma” released in 1975. The picture sleeve I bring you is the rarer Spanish release of the track. So what does it sound like? Well despite the fact it was cut in ’75, it doesn’t have the disco/Salsoul sound you might expect. What you get is an uptempo instrumental dance floor destroyer featuring congas, spanish style guitar, sound effects, phasing and a funky Blaxploitation feel running through it. It really is the bomb! Enjoy!