Alex Puddu Soultiger (feat. Joe Bataan)

A 10 track funk album (43m 48s) — released May 11th 2015 on Schema

As an avid music lover, and not necessarily of any given genre but of

music that is vibrant and full of heart-wrenching stories as told by the people that

created it, I was lucky enough to have grown up in the early sixties in NYC, coming

from the Spanish-speaking extract of the Caribbean, and fortunate enough to

experience this dynamic happening musically and culturally that was NYC in the


While geography and segregation play a part to the music that you were

exposed to on a daily basis, there was a special interchanging of ideas musically

between the Afro-American communities and the Spanish-speaking Caribbeans

who have been arriving steadily since the 40's, from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican

Republic and to a lesser extend South America. While our parents were listening to

more traditional Latin sounds like Bolero, Charanga and Merengue to name a few,

their offspring were gravitating towards the Afro sounds of R&B and soul music. In

Spanish Harlem particularly but not exclusively, a new sound was emerging, called

Latin Soul, which is a broad umbrella of a term that encompasses an array of Latin

styles and fusion, the core being Afro-Cuban rhythms – with the mix of Boogaloo,

Shing-a-ling, Mambo, Son Montuno etc. – and the African American sounds of R&B

and soul music.

This new genre crossed the different communities of New York, especially

with the incorporating of English and Spanish lyrics to the sound. Some of the great

exponents of this sound, the likes of the Joe Cuba Band, Harvey Averne, Joey

Pastrana, Johnny Colon, Lebron Brothers, Ray Barretto, Ralfi Pagan, Tito Ramos,

etc., etc. and of course Joe Bataan who I will be coming to in a minute. This sound

and the musicians, who created it, are as far as I'm concerned still relevant, and

their music still sounds fresh and vibrant compared to what's being consumed by

the masses today. Which brings me nicely to Joe Bataan and a friend and music

lover Alex Puddu.

Joe Bataan encompasses everything that Latin Soul meant in El Barrio

and to the Spanish-speaking people of NYC and beyond. Bataan who is of Filipino

and African American extract shares all the attributes and attitude that a young gun

of East Harlem in the 60's and 70's would need to rise to the heap of the pile, on the

streets and musically. His early work from Gypsy Woman, Subway Joe, Poor Boy

and Mr. New York & The East Side Kids is testament to his New York roots, but

specifically to his Harlem roots. Melodies accompanied with his sweet soulful voice

are everything a Latin soul-singer could wish for. Even today, Bataan's sound is as

relevant as 1969 NY, and Call My Name, Young, Gifted & Brown, and King of Latin

Soul are perfect examples of his longevity.

The next piece of the puzzle is trailblazer and drummer and everything

else that's nice about being Italian: Mr. Alex Puddu. Alex who has been living in

Copenhagen for almost 30 years and to his credit, has been doing his own thing to

connect his roots for that great 60's and 70's sound that Italians did so well, and

everything from Danish porno scores, to funk and of course Latin Soul. We have

had the good fortune and blessing to have Alex do a collaboration with Joe Bataan

for the album Alex Puddu Soultiger.

Close your eyes, and listen to this collaboration. Whether you were born

and raised in Rome, Paris, London, Copenhagen or any other city, listening to

Bataan and Alex's production and musical input, you will be taken back to Spanish

Harlem and the mean streets that Bataan and myself were raised in, and which

shaped our future and filled our very soul… Latin Soul still lives today, and Joe

Bataan with some help from Alex Puddu brings us a little closer to that wonderful

time that I cherish so much... Bravo and grazie mille, Joe and Alex.

DJ Ramon Santana

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