El Chicano – a Los Angeles band who created what they termed, “the brown sound” – hit the US top 40 in 1970 with the Latin jazz funk instrumental, “Viva Tirado” on the Kapp label.
(image courtesy of Discogs)
Kapp – an indie label started in 1954 by David Kapp, brother of American Decca label founder, Jack Kapp – had been sold at the end of 1967 to MCA in “a new surge to be a major record complex.” El Chicano’s 1970 debut album, Viva Tirado, therefore enjoyed international distribution in Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela, Mexico, and beyond (including a tasteless and inappropriate cover when released in South Africa).
Their second album, Revolución, includes the track “Spanish Grease” — an opportunity for Bobby Espinosa to give his organ a workout:
El Chicano (1971)
LP Musician & Production Credits
John DeLuna – Drums & Percussion
Andre Baéza – Congas, Percussion & Vocals
Ersi Arvizu– Percussion & Vocals
Freddie Sanchez – Bass & Vocals
Little Mickey Lespron – Guitar
Bobby Espinosa – Organ
Engineer – Armin Steiner
Producer – Tom Catalano
Co-producer – Fred De Mann
Mixed By – John Stokoviac
Mastered By – Darrell Johnson
“Spanish Grease” is a cover of Willie Bobo‘s classic title track — co-written with coronetist/arranger, Melvin Lastie, and recorded at Van Gelder Studios in 1965 — for a ‘Breakout Album‘ that reached #138 on Billboard‘s Pop charts for the week ending April 2, 1966 (not to mention the #12 spot on Record World‘s Jazz Album chart in their March 19, 1966 issue).
“Brown bag” cover for Revolución in 1971 when released in Peru, still in the throes of a military takeover that had taken place three years prior by a group of army officers under the leadership of General Juan Velasco Alvarado.
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