I could spend months combing crates in Spanish Harlem, and still lack Oliver Wang’s knowledge of Boogaloo, that fusion of Afro-Caribbean polyrhythms, Cuban Jazz, doo-wop and soul that flourished in New York and Latin America from 1965-1970. If you’re looking for a definitive take on the music and culture, his Da Capo anthologized essay from last year is as comprehensive and sharp as you’ll find. I also recommend O-Dub’s LA Weekly piece on the Assassins last year. Needless to say, it’s difficult to match someone who DJ’s and curates a night called Boogaloo LA.

By contrast, my recent Pop and Hiss interview with Los Angeles revivalists, The Boogaloo Assassins, is little more than an ABC-guide.  In researching the piece, I became fairly obsessed with the music. Anyone interested in the intersection of Curtis Mayfield and Cal Tjader will want to grab this elementary primer (which also includes non-Boogaloo songs from Boogaloo-affiliated artists.) Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the MP3 for “Tito Puente’s Revenge,” so the video will just have to suffice.


MP3:  The Lebron Brothers-“Boogaloo Lebron”
MP3:  The Fania All-Stars-“Viva Tirado”

MP3: Tito Puente & His Orchestra-“Fat Mama”
MP3: Charlie Palmieri-“Boogaloo Mania”

MP3: Ray Baretto-“The Soul Drummers”
MP3: Willie Bobo-“Psychedelic Blues”
MP3: Johnny Colon-“Descarga”
MP3: Mongo Santamaria-“Funk Up”

MP3: Joe Bataan-“Gypsy Woman”
MP3: Joe Bataan-“Latin Strut”

MP3: Joe Cuba-“Siempre Sea”
MP3: Joe Cuba-“A La Seis”

Or All-4-One (no “I Swear”)

ZIP: A Bluffer’s Guide to Boogaloo (Left-Click)

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!