Across 110th Street

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
With their sophomore recording, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra move from revival act to potent new musical force, proving that the hard-driving Latin dance music born in its namesake barrio has far from breathed its last. The group, composed of veteran New York musicians led by pianist and arranger Oscar Hernandez, coaxed Ruben Blades out of his Irish reverie to retake his place, for three tracks, as a true sonero to be reckoned with. Not willing to waste the opportunity, the SHO front-loads Across 110th St. with the fiery "Gran Día en El Barrio," which features Blades and lauds the uncomplicated joys of summer in the city. While there's no underestimating the excitement...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
With their sophomore recording, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra move from revival act to potent new musical force, proving that the hard-driving Latin dance music born in its namesake barrio has far from breathed its last. The group, composed of veteran New York musicians led by pianist and arranger Oscar Hernandez, coaxed Ruben Blades out of his Irish reverie to retake his place, for three tracks, as a true sonero to be reckoned with. Not willing to waste the opportunity, the SHO front-loads Across 110th St. with the fiery "Gran Día en El Barrio," which features Blades and lauds the uncomplicated joys of summer in the city. While there's no underestimating the excitement of Blades's return to his salsa roots -- and his singing's the best he's done in years, bursting with rhythm and hilarious asides -- the orchestra's singers measure up just as well. The new trio of freshman Willie Torres, Ray de la Paz (Ray Barretto's '70s group), and Marco Bermudez (of local favorites Los Jovenes del Barrio) makes a reasonable replacement for the lethal combo of Frankie Vasquez, Herman Olivera, and Jimmy Sabater, who graced SHO's debut. But this orchestra is specifically about the musicians and the arrangements. Hernandez, who led Blades's band beginning in the '80s, doesn't bother with slick updates, instead taking visceral joy in the possibilities for large-band voicings over Latin rhythm. The compostions and arrangements, including buried treasures from the works of Tito Puente, Gil Lopez, Joe Cuba, Tite Curet Alonso, Charlie Palmieri, Sonny Bravo, and others, is indicative of the band's curatorial thrust. A classic lineup -- two 'bones, two trumpets, and the hefty bari sax of Tito Puente vet Mitch Frohman -- eloquently makes the case that this form is far from moribund; it simply demands a caliber of musician that's in ever shorter supply. With legends such as bongosero Bobby Allende and timbalero Chino Nuñez and a collection of MVP sidemen including trombonist Jimmy Bosch, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra rises easily to the task.
All Music Guide - Todd Kristel
The Spanish Harlem Orchestra is back and they're even tighter and more swinging than before. They've added vocalists Willie Torres and Marcos Bermudez to replace Hermán Olivera and Frankie Vázquez, while keeping the fine vocalist Ray de la Paz in the band. Torres sings lead on cover versions of "Dime Si Llegue a Tiempo" and "Maestro de Rumberos," while Bermudez sings lead on "Tu Tun Sueña el Tambo," which features outstanding trombone playing by Jimmy Bosch, and "La Hija de Lola," a Raúl Marrero song previously recorded by Charlie Palmieri. Another change is the addition of Rubén Blades as guest vocalist on four tracks: "Un Gran Dia en el Barrio" a band original written by Ray de la Paz,"Bailadores" a "Héctor Rivera" song previously recorded by the Joe Cuba Sextet,"Cuando Te Vea" a Tito Puente song arranged by Gil Lopes, who also arranged the group's rendition of the bolero "Esperame en el Cielo", and "Tu Te lo Pierdes" written by Blades himself. The last song is one of the best here, but it doesn't quite fit with the overall feel of the album, which is probably why it's a bonus track. The entire band deserves praise for its musicianship, including pianist Oscar Hernandez and the remarkable horn section. Across 110th Street doesn't break any new ground musically, as reflected in the high percentage of cover versions, but it's recommended if you want to hear some energetic, danceable music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/15/2004
  • Label: Red Int / Red Ink
  • UPC: 829579061522
  • Catalog Number: 4615

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Spanish Harlem Orchestra Primary Artist
Rubén Blades Guest Appearance
Mitch Frohman Flute, Baritone Saxophone
Oscar Hernandez Piano, Musical Direction
Dan Reagan Trombone
Willie Torres Vocals
Jimmy Bosch Trombone
George Delgado Bongos, Conga
John Walsh Trumpet
Raul Agraz Trumpet
Pablo Nunez Timbales
Pete Nater Trumpet
Marcos Bermudez Vocals
Rubén Rodríguez Bass
Robert Quintero Bongos
Technical Credits
Rubén Blades Composer
Marty Sheller Arranger
Sonny Bravo Arranger
Ray de la Paz Composer
Angel Fernandez Arranger
Oscar Hernandez Arranger, Composer, Producer
Dave Kowalski Engineer
Gilbert Lopez Arranger
Jose Madera Arranger
Phil Nicolo Mastering
John Robertson Executive Producer
Hector Rivera Composer
Chino Nuñez Arranger
C. Alonso Curet Composer
Aaron Luis Levinson Producer, Engineer, Executive Producer, Mastering
Junior Cepeda Composer
Soo Yon Koh Cover Design
Joel Levinson Cover Photo
Ray Viera Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A little help to Mark Schwartz

    First off this sophmore album is the best I've heard and I'm sure the other albums will be just as phenomenal. Now, the only new singers on this album would be Willie Torres and Marcos Bermudez. Ray De La Paz is not new to the group due to the fact that he was on the first SHO album. And if read properly, Jimmy Sabater was a guest on the first album. Ray De La Paz is also an icon in the Salsa industry because not only was he Ray Baretto's singer after Ruben Blades left, but also the pioneer of "La Salsa Romantica" (Romantic Salsa) with his partner/arranger Louie Ramirez. As for ACROSS 110th STREET...it is an album of growth, latin roots, and pure swing. Having Ruben Blades sing on this album was a great idea, but should not take away from the others like Ray De La Paz, Willie Torres, and Marcos Bermudez. I can not wait to hear the next album and see them live again.

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