William Correa, best known as Willie Bobo, blended jazz, rock and Latin rhythms and was one of the of the prominent bandleaders of the s Latin Soul movement. He called it "the sound a Latin cat in Harlem would dig. Willie started out as a professional dancer when he was 12, and was recording with bands as a bongo player by the time he was He studied percussion with Mongo Santamaria and Armando Peraza, and worked as a band boy for Machito in the s. At 19, he was working with Tito Puente's band. Willie's first recording with George Shearing in gave him enough exposure to become the first-call percussionist for other jazz artists throughout the s and s. During another recording session, pianist Mary Lou Williams gave him the nickname "Bobo," a reference to his clowning and generally being the "life of the party. In he formed a band in Los Angeles and performed his own mix of Latin jazz and pop music covers.
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You can learn more about our reissue over here , and can read an excerpt from the Listening Notes booklet included with our reissue below. With post-millennium ears made pre-emptively cynical by interpolations, by endless streaming playlists dedicated to recorded reworks, and by an insatiable online content beast feeding them new flavors of familiar, it somehow feels right to judge an artist for piggybacking on the success of another. Jazz and pop standards essentially drove those top-level genres for decades, dazzling and drawing in consumers who might not otherwise have taken the plunge with their hard-earned wages and hard-won stealings. Labels like Blue Note and Verve commercially depended not just on songs written specifically for the jazz idiom, but from Broadway and Hollywood, too. While the scribes behind these standards may or may not have made big bucks off of the ensuing covers, given the notorious shadiness of the industry, the material itself lived and thrived in the hands and throats of those who approached it. In the s, albums comprised either entirely of covers or otherwise largely populated by them ran rampant, and Spanish Harlemite Willie Bobo went with the flow. He also recorded with pianists George Shearing and Mary Lou Williams, the latter apparently having given William Correa his nickname-cum-stagename as a young man.
My treat was that I got to play. The quintessential cool cat, Bobo played timbales, congas and bongo with Tito Puente and Cal Tjader , in whose band the Nuyorican percussionist performed beside the great Cuban player Mongo Santamaria. He took his music very seriously. He ruled it with an iron first and it had it be right; he was a great performer. Willie Bobo put out 14 solo albums on labels that included jazz bedrocks Verve and Blue Note, although, his son recalls, he was not so good at playing music industry politics. He gave them some psychedelic soul songs instead. So they shelved the record. My dad was on the cusp. Dig My Feeling , released earlier this month on Nacional Records, debuted at no. He kept being progressive and he didn't want to be pigeonholed into one kind of music.
Legendary percussionist Willie Bobo born William Correa , who played alongside iconic artists like Tito Puente and Carlos Santana, might be best known for his contributions to the Latin Jazz genre, but he was also one of the most influential musicians to the early years of hip-hop. Rapper Grand Puba was the first to say it on Mary J. Willie Bobo passed away in but his son and percussionist Eric Bobo, widely known for his work with Los Angeles hip-hop group Cypress Hill, carries on his late father's legacy. And with a recent public announcement that Eric Bobo discovered lost tracks that were recorded more than 40 years ago by his father, audiences have a rare opportunity to revisit Willie Bobo's offerings to popular music. His mom told him not to touch. She is very protective over anything relating to her late husband, who passed away at the age of As it turns out, these lost tapes were recorded during the years , when Willie Bobo was an unsigned artist in-between record deals. He had just completed a deal with Verve Records and was looking to Sussex Records for his next project.