New Orleans Boogaloo

Oliver Wang’s Soul Sides tracks classic soul, Latin soul, boogaloo in all their well-known and obscure incarnations, so I’m not surprised that he found out about Los Po-Boy-Citos’ debut album – which just came out – before we did. We’ll have a review of the album in November, but here’s Wang’s note:

Lastly, we have a new group out of NOLA, the Los Bo-Boy-Citos, a six-man, second-line-meets-Latin-soul outfit. Their conceit is intriguing – take NOLA’s funk/soul heritage (itself Cuban-influenced) and then throw in an East Harlem vibe and see what cooks up. At the risk of being an essentialist, I associate both New Orleans and Spanish Harlem sounds with more gritty, lo-fi flavor and this is a little too clean for my tastes; compare their take on “Fat Mama” with Tito Puente’s original and you’ll see what I mean. That said, 1) the latter song’s combination with Allen Toussaint’s “Mother In Law” is inspired, to say the least, plus 2) I’m slightly in awe of any band that knows about – let alone covers – such obscure-r fare such as “Danzon Boogaloo, arguably the very first “official” Latin boogaloo ever record, by Ricardo Ray, or Cool Benny’s “Wobble Cha” (see below).

Also, in an unexpected way, their sound is actually much closer to what boogaloo sounded like in the jazz world during the late ’60s era of Blue Note/Prestige artists like Lou Donaldson and “Boogaloo Joe” Jones. That boogaloo fad in jazz was never very connected to the jazz world (from what I’ve been able to research), Les McCann’s Bucket O’ Grease excepted, and in a serendipitous way, Los Po-Boy-Citos create that missing link between the jazz and Latin boogaloo styles.

Follow this link back to Soul Sides for more recent nuevo-Latin and a few tracks, including two by Los Po-Boy-Citos.