Tipica 73

Tipica 73

Adventurous salsa band formed late '72, its history epitomises the fragmentation of bands that occurred during '70s salsa boom. Five of original lineup split from Ray Barretto band at height of its popularity: Adalberto Santiago, lead singer; Orestes Vilató (b c '45, Camagüey, Cuba) on timbales, doubling on bongo; bongo player Johnny 'Dandy' Rodríguez, now moving to congas (he'd previously done stints with Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez, and co-led a late '60s band with conguero Angel René, who later became a promoter; Dandy acted as president of the Típica 73 co-operative); trumpeter René López, bassist Dave Pérez, joined by pianist/arranger Sonny Bravo (b 7 Oct. '36, NYC of Cuban parentage; previously with José Fajardo, Tito Puente, Vicentico Valdés, Willie Bobo, Raúl Marrero, Rafael Cortijo, Angel René & Johnny Rodríguez Orchestra and Louie Ramírez/Pete Bonet Orchestra, amongst others; Bravo held the post of Típica's musical director), trombonist Leopoldo Pineda (from Larry Harlow), trumpeter/pianist/arranger Joe Mannozzi (from Orquesta Flamboyán).

They began as a two trumpet/trombone-led conjunto playing típico (typical) Latin music in contemporary style on Típica 73 '73 on Fania sister label Inca, prod. by Johnny Pacheco; joined by Puerto Rican tres player Nelson González (from Ismael Miranda's Orquesta Revelación) for self-prod. Típica 73 '74, La Candela '75 (title track cover of Cuban hit by its composer Juan Formell with his band Los Van Van). Vilató started his pro career at age twelve with Belisario López's charanga, followed by stints with José Fajardo ('62-5), Johnny Pacheco (eight months) and Ray Barretto ('65-72); he also performed with Machito, Tito Puente, Fania All Stars, Mike Martínez's Latin Dimensions and others. Musical differences about 'stretching out' or staying típico split the band: Vilató, Santiago, Mannozzi, González left '76 to form Los Kimbos; Vilató later revealed that he and the other defectors had became dissatisfied with Dandy's financial management and Típica's failure to match the highly paid incomes of other mid-'70s salsa acts. Los Kimbos was a gutsy club band on eponymous LP '76 on Fania sister label Cotique, Mannozzi switching to piano and with trumpeter, mus. dir. Roberto Rodríguez (d '88) from Barretto's band; on second LP they were The Big Kimbos with Adalberto Santiago '77, whereupon Santiago went solo and the band split into Nelson González And His Band (debuting on eponymous LP '77 on TR) and Vilató y Los Kimbos, which released two further albums: Hoy y Mañana '78 and Aquacero Ne Me Moja '79. Disenchanted with Cotique, Vilató relocated to San Francisco '80 to work with Carlos Santana for eight years, thereafter he organised a gigging band called Los Kimbos 90 in '90.

Típica 73 continued with Rumba Caliente '76, joined by young Cuban violinist Alfredo de la Fé (from Eddie Palmieri's band), lead vocalist Tito Allen (from Barretto's band), Don Gonzalo Fernández (flute/tenor sax), José Grajales (timbales/conga) and Lionel Sánchez (trumpet); the LP ushered in a "new sound" utilising their reformed lineup to alternate between and fuse horns-led conjunto and flute/violin-led charanga elements. The Two Sides Of Típica '73 '77 referred to dance and concert sides, with its experimentation and fusion one of salsa's most interesting LPs, with Camilo Azuquita (b Camilo Luis Argumédez, '45, Colón, Panamá; an alumnus of Roberto Roena, Cortijo, Kako and others) replacing Allen, Mexican Dick "Taco" Meza replacing Fernández, plus addition of timbalero Nicky Marrero (b 17 June '50, Bronx, NYC); Azuquita departed to continue his solo career after singing lead on half of Salsa Encendida '78, young Dominican José Alberto sang on the rest. Most of the band appeared on Dandy's Dandy, a Latin Affair '79 on Latin Percussion Ventures Inc. label (maker of Latin percussion instruments; LP's title based on Johnny Rodríguez's nickname). They switched to Fania; Típica 73 en Cuba: Intercambio Cultural '79 was made in Havana, adding Mario Rivera on soprano and baritone sax; Charangueando con la Típica 73 '80 was followed by Into The 80's '81 with guests Mario Bauzá (on alto sax), Rafael Cortijo on congas and Yomo Toro on cuatro. Work dwindled, allegedly because Típica appeared in Cuba, and they disbanded: de la Fé emigrated to Colombia after doing a brief stint with Tito Puente's Latin Ensemble; after recording the notable El Encuentro '82 on Lo Mejor, Dandy joined Puente's Ensemble '82; Rivera and Bravo joined Puente in '82 and '84 respectively; Alberto began a successful solo career '84; Marrero freelanced, then moved to Europe for 10 years (where he taught at the Rotterdam Conservatory and performed on Nueva Manteca's Afrodisia '91 on Timeless and Conexión Latina's Mambo 2000 '93 on Enja); Pineda freelances; Pérez, Sánchez, López, Grajales and Meza retired from salsa's forefront.

Reunion at the Convention Centre, San Juan, P.R. Sept. '95 featured Santiago, Allen, Bravo, Dandy, Marrero, Pineda, González, Sánchez, Angel 'Cachete' Maldonado (percussion), Johnny Torres (bass), Mitch Frohman (reeds), Ite Jerez (trumpet). Series of 25th anniversary reunion gigs during '99 featured Santiago, Allen and Azuquita at NYC dates (Bronx's Lehman College and Manhattan's S.O.B.'s; latter had sonero Nestor Sánchez also joining in); Alberto completed the line-up of original lead vocalists for their concert at P.R.'s Luis Muñoz Marín Amphitheatre on 16 April. Típica's other '99 personnel incl. Bravo, Dandy, Marrero, Pineda, González, George Delgado (conga), Cachete (bata, quinto, bongo), Jerry Madera (bass), Ricardo Pons (flute, tenor sax), Pete Miranda (baritone sax), Héctor 'Bomberito' Zarzuela, Jorge Luis 'Ito' Torres (trumpets). Charanga! '94 on Charly is a recommended UK compilation of Típica's '79 to '80 work.


Tipica 73 Discography Tracks


La Tipica 73* Tipica 73 (Album) Inca Records Mexico 1973 Sell This Version
Tipica 73 Tipica '73 - Vol 2 (Album) Inca Records Venezuela 1974 Sell This Version
Tipica '73* La Candela (Album) Inca Records, Inca Records Mexico 1975 Sell This Version
Tipica 73 Rumba Caliente (Album) Inca Records, Inca Records Colombia 1976 Sell This Version
Tipica '73* The Two Sides Of 'Tipica '73 (Album) Inca Records, Inca Records Venezuela 1977 Sell This Version
Tipica 73 Salsa Encendida (Album) Inca Records Panama 1978 Sell This Version
Tipica 73 En Cuba - Intercambio Cultural (Album) Fania Records France 1979 Sell This Version
Tipica 73 Charangueando Con La Tipica 73 (Album) Fania Records Colombia 1980 Sell This Version
Tipica 73 Tipica 73…Into The 80's (Album) Fania Records France 1981 Sell This Version
AJK-87658 Típica 73* Live Concert Series(CD, Album) Inspiration Records (3) AJK-87658 US 2003 Sell This Version
ELDF. 1099 Tipica 73 Tipica 73(LP, Album) Famoso ELDF. 1099 Colombia Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

6054 Tipica '73* No Volvere / La Noche De Anoche, Cada Vez Mas (Medley)(7", Promo) Inca Records 6054 US 1973 Sell This Version
6058 Tipica 73 Descarga 73(7") Inca Records 6058 US 1973 Sell This Version
6074 Tipica 73 Amalia Batista / Rumba Y Guaguanco(7", Single) Inca Records 6074 US 1974 Sell This Version
1345 Tipica 73 La Candela(7") Inca Records 1345 Peru 1975 Sell This Version
6084 Tipica '73* Canuto / Te Llevo Conmigo(7") Inca Records 6084 1975 Sell This Version
6099 Tipica 73 Rumba Caliente / Guaguanco De Los Violentos(7", W/Lbl, D.J) Inca Records 6099 US 1976 Sell This Version
6117 Tipica 73 Baila Que Baila / La Mujer Dominicana(7") Inca Records 6117 1978 Sell This Version
60-033 Tipica 73 La Botija Del Abuelito(7", Single) Fania Records 60-033 Peru 1978 Sell This Version
923 Tipica 73 Fascinacion / Llevatela(7", Single) Fania Records 923 US 1981 Sell This Version
Tipica '73* Mañoño / Oye Mi Guajira Inca Records US Unknown Sell This Version
Fania 70.022 Tipica 73 Baila Que Baila / Los Campeones de la Salsa(7", Single, Promo) Fania Fania 70.022 Peru Unknown Sell This Version
SF-0216 Tipica 73 Mañoño / Son de la Loma(7", Single) Famoso SF-0216 Colombia Unknown Sell This Version
0220 Tipica 73 No Volvere(7") Famoso 0220 Colombia Unknown Sell This Version
none Tipica 73 Asi No Se Quiere A Nadie / Olvida El Pasado (7", Single) Fania De Panama none Panama Unknown Sell This Version


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October 6, 2015
Formed in New York by a number of musicians from Ray Barretto‘s band, the Cuban charanga and salsa band, Tipica 73, enjoyed great success in the 1970s and 1980s. (The term típica refers to the “typical” configuration of a Cuban charanga with violin, and 73 to the year of founding the group).
This legendary band is notable for for its experimental style and being the first US-based salsa orchestra to record in Cuba– the result of which was the album “Típica 73 En Cuba Intercambio Cultural.” At the time, Tipica 73 featured several salsa musicians who would go on to become famous as solo artists, including vocalist José “El Canario” Alberto and violinist Alfredo de la Fé.
In the nascent and thriving New York Latin jazz and Salsa scene in the early 1970s, the group began with Johnny “Dandy” Rodriguez Jr and four of Ray Barretto‘s original band including Adalberto Santiago (who all left Barretto simultaneously to start Tipica 73 in 1972), and, after combining the conjunto percussive style (congas, timbales, and bongos) with a horn section the band became one of the biggest stars of the Salsa movement in the US.
However, the band’s lineup ended up with an almost different cast by the start of the following decade, with several of the original members having left after differences in the late 1970s, and Santiago and three others leaving to form Los Kimbos. Rodriguez Jr was the only constant in the band, and he and remaining members would split in 1982, but not without a tribute to the charanga style, the 1980 release “Charangueando con la Tipica 73“, which included standout versions of Tito Puentes’ ”A Donde Vas” and Cachao’s “Chanchullo,” In 1995, Tipica 73 reunited for a successful concert in Puerto Rico, which led to a series of shows four years later.

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