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Ray Barretto: 1929—: Musician

Ventured Into New Directions

In 1972 lead singer Adalberto Santiago and four other band members left the Fania All-Stars to form the successful Típica 73. Barretto responded to this crisis as though it was an opportunity. He recalled to Ed Morales in Newsday, "When they left, I made a record called The Other Road, in which I took advantage of not having a particularly Latin band at that time. We made our first attempts at playing jazz, and the record stands out as the Fania era's most unique record. It had no vocals, it had nothing to do with dance music, and it incorporated a lot of jazz."

In the late 1970s Barretto experimented with fusion, but found less commercial success. He re-united with Santiago in 1979 and recorded a progressive salsa album titled Rican/Struction, which Latin NY named album of the year. He continued to record salsa albums throughout the 1980s, including a collaboration with Celia Cruz, Ritmo En El Corazón, which won a Grammy in 1990. In the 1990s, however, Barretto began to tire of salsa, and he expressed a desire to concentrate on jazz. He told Morales, "With all the changes in Latin music … I thought a return to jazz would be a good thing for my life, my career and my sanity."

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Miguel Angel Asturias: 1899-1974: Writer to Don Berrysmith Biography - Grew up in the Pacific NorthwestRay Barretto: 1929—: Musician Biography - Became A Conguero, Ventured Into New Directions, Formed New Band