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Ismael Rivera: Lo Último En La Avenida. Vinyl Reissue



Lo Último En La Avenida - Ismael Rivera

Craft Latino is proud to present an all-analog remastered 50th Anniversary vinyl reissue of Lo Último En La Avenida, the soulful salsa album that confirmed Ismael Rivera’s creative apex as a solo vocalist, following his departure from Rafael Cortijo’s visionary orchestra. An intimate set boasting luminous dancefloor anthems, this 1971 album is revered as one of the most honest and vibrant LPs in tropical music history.

Out on October 22nd, and available for pre-order today, the new edition of Lo Último En La Avenida was remastered from its original analog master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed on 180-gram audiophile vinyl. The iconic album will also be released in hi-res digital for the first time, including 192/24 and 96/24 formats. In addition, exciting bundle options that include a commemorative Lo Ultimo En La Avenida T-shirt are being offered at

This release is part of Craft Latino’s initiative to present high-quality vinyl reissues of the most treasured LPs in Fania’s catalog. These reissues are remastered for the first time from the original tapes, giving fans the best experience when listening to historic albums.

One of the godfathers of Afro-Caribbean music, Ismael Rivera was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, in 1931. He was only a teenager when he became the star vocalist with Cortijo’s pioneering combo, blending Puerto Rican folk formats like bomba and plena with the popular dance music from neighboring Cuba. Cortijo was one of the first artists who cemented the specific style known as salsa—and the endearing Maelo, with his streetwise wit and keen understanding of the clave—is considered to this day one of the quintessential soneros, or traditional salsa singers.

Sadly, Rivera’s blossoming career with Cortijo was sidetracked by a stint in prison after being arrested for drug possession. He emerged from jail with the desire to completely reinvent his career and launched himself as a solo artist in New York. Lo Último En La Avenida finds him on a creative apex, backed by the band of another legend: Francisco Ángel Bastar Ramos, better known as Kako, a fellow boricua and timbalero who had recorded memorable sessions with the Alegre All-Stars. Accompanied by Cuban conguero Patato, Kako and Maelo developed a more intimate ensemble, transporting the singer’s transcendental singing into a musical universe that mirrors the swinging salsa explosion taking place at the time in New York City.

Back album cover: Lo Último En La Avenida - Ismael Rivera con Kako y su Orquesta
Back album cover: Lo Último En La Avenida – Ismael Rivera con Kako y su Orquesta

There are no boleros in Lo Último En La Avenida. This is a party record from beginning to end, and Maelo outdoes himself on a reckless reading of the Rafael Hernández classic “El Cumbanchero” that shows off his uncanny gift for speed and improvisation. Written by Carlos Suárez, “Mi Negrita Me Espera” is one of the most tender and endearing classics in the tropical songbook—the story of a salsa singer who goes out at night to perform at dancehalls but worries that the most important woman in his life will stay up waiting for him. The woman in question is none other than Doña Margot, Maelo’s mother and an important figure in salsa lore. “Entierro A La Moda,” a detailed description of the singer’s fashionable funeral with plenty of illustrious musical guests, showcases the man’s wicked sense of humor.

Rivera’s life was steeped in tragedy. By the late ’70s, his vocal cords had lost their luster, and the excesses of the past took a toll on Maelo. He died in 1987, in the arms of his mother, of a heart attack. He was only 55. His life, however, was also filled with joy, love and creativity. Fifty years after its release, Lo Último En La Avenida transports us to a moment of triumph for Maelo Rivera. Soulful and healing, it showcases salsa as the incredibly sophisticated genre that it really was.

Pre-order the vinyl now. Exclusive bundle options, including a commemorative Lo Ultimo En La Avenida T-shirt available at

TracklistLo Ultimo En La Avenida


  1. Mi Negrita Me Espera
  2. Lo Ultimo En La Avenida
  3. Cantar Maravilloso
  4. El Truquito
  5. El Cumbanchero


  1. La Cumbita
  2. Moti-Agua
  3. Entierro A La Moda
  4. Siete Pies Bajo La Tierra
  5. Lleva y Trae

*Digital tracklist mirrors the vinyl.

About Fania

Highly influential, both musically and culturally,?Fania?Records spread the sound of salsa music from the clubs of New York City to the rest of the world and became a revered global brand in the process.?Fania’s master recording catalog is the definitive home for genres such as Latin big band, Afro-Cuban jazz, boogaloo, salsa and Latin R&B and includes artistic giants such as Celia Cruz, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe and Rubén Blades. With the creation of the international supergroup known as the?Fania?All-Stars, the label’s signature musical style became known as the “Fania?Sound.”?Fania’s rich master catalog also includes the Pete Rodriguez’s boogaloo classic “I Like It Like That”? which was sampled by Cardi B in her #1 hit “I Like It. Additionally, three Fania Recordings, Celia & Johnny by Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco,?Azucar Pa’ Ti?by Eddie Palmieri and?Live at Yankee Stadium?by the?Fania?All-Stars, appear in the National Recording Registry, a list of sound recordings that “are culturally, historically or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.” For more info, visit and follow on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

About Craft Latino

Craft Latino is home to one of the largest and most prestigious collections of Latin music master recordings and compositions in the world. Its rich and storied repertoire includes legendary artists such as Antonio Aguilar, Joan Sebastian, Pepe Aguilar, Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón, Ray Barretto, La Lupe, Ruben Blades and the Fania All Stars, to name just a few. Renowned imprints with catalogs issued under the Craft banner include Musart, Fania, TH, Panart, West Side Latino and Kubaney, among many others. Craft creates thoughtfully curated packages, with a meticulous devotion to quality and a commitment to preservation, ensuring that these recordings endure for new generations to discover. Craft Latino is the Latin repertoire arm of Craft Recordings. For more info, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Source: Lisa Bellamore, Crescent Communications

Founder, Editor, Webmaster: Latin Jazz Network, World Music Report, That Canadian Magazine. A passionate and committed communicator with a sensibility for the arts based in Toronto, Canada.

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New Releases

Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band to release new recording: “Vox Humana”



Drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, Bobby Sanabria
Drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, Bobby Sanabria

Celebrating 25 years! The multi-Grammy nominated Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band is set to release their new recording: “Vox Humana” featuring vocalists Janis Siegel, Antoinette Montague, Jennifer Jade Ledesna.

Recorded Live at Dizzy’s Club Cola in NYC
Release Date: Spring 2023
Record Label: Jazzheads

New York – January 18th – On the heels of their Grammy nominated and 2019 Jazz Journalists Association Album of the Year Award winning critically acclaimed masterwork, West Side Story Reimagined, and in celebration of their 25th anniversary – drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, Bobby Sanabria and his Multiverse Big Band return with their most ambitious work to date, VOX HUMANA.

Bobby states, “Over the course of our many Grammy nominated albums we’ve occasionally featured tracks with vocals. But I’ve always envisioned doing an entire vocal album framed by the Multiverse Big Band. Now with three of today’s greatest contemporary singing talents – multi-Grammy award winner Janis Siegel from the Manhattan Transfer, blues and jazz Queen Antoinette Montague, and the multilingual powerhouse, Jennifer Jade Ledesna, today that vision has finally become a reality.

The individually distinct voices that Janis, Antoinette, and Jennifer possess make them each unique. But the X factor they all have is they are all masterful improvisors in the best sense of the jazz tradition. Added to the mix is our great conguero, Oreste Abrantes, who also sings lead on two tracks. Having that multi- dimensional vocal talent framed by the power, nuance, and tonal variety that only a big band can provide, combined with the repertoire I’ve chosen to showcase them and the band and the incredible variety of Afro- Latin, straight ahead swing, funk, R&B, and rock rhythmic vocabulary that we are masters of and readily have at our disposal in the Multiverse, I believe VOX HUMANA will prove to be our greatest achievement. 

Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band: "Vox Humana"
Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band: “Vox Humana”

That repertoire has a personal meaning to me as I see VOX HUMANA as a biographical work. I’m a product of my environment. I’m a Nuyorican, a person of Puerto Rican descent growing up in New York City. In my case the South Bronx during a time period when pop, jazz, R&B, rock, funk, and Latin music of all kinds all co-existed as equals. It was the last era when the big bands of masters like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Machito, Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Don Ellis, and more were in the public eye, and they became my heroes. Vocalists who could deliver a message with subtlety, nuance, and when needed, power, were called upon to deliver poetry crafted by genius song writers. You’ll hear all that and more through the soaring vocals and improv talents of Janis, Antoinette, and Jennifer, along with Oreste, as well as the incredible jazz-oriented arrangements and exciting Pan Afro-Latin rhythms played by a big band that literally takes no prisoners when it hits the stage.”

The repertoire Bobby speaks of includes 1 original and 12 unique re-workings of pop hits like Spooky, Christine Aguilera’s Genie In a Bottle, and Steely Dan’s Do It Again; NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri’s, Mi Congo and Puerto Rico along with the island’s greatest composer, Rafael Hernandez’s, Capullito De Aleli; the classic Joe Cuba R&B bolero, To Be With You; Brazilian standards Partido Alto and Amazonas; and from the world of Broadway theater, I Love You Porgy, and the iconic jump blues, Let The Good Times Roll. The CD also includes an original message bearing piece, Who Taught You That, as well as what may possibly be the most exciting interpretation of the Ellington associated classic, Caravan, and that has ever been recorded. 

Adding to the excitement of the performance, VOX HUMANA was recorded in front of a live audience. Bobby states, “As with our previous work, we recorded VOX HUMANA live at NYC’s Dizzy’s Club Coca – Cola. My musicians represent NYC’s finest. That means they’re the greatest in the world. The added level of excitement created by the audience inspired us in the MULTIVERSE Big Band to a heightened new level of performance virtuosity that listeners will hear explode out of the speakers just as the audience at Dizzy’s experienced in person.”

The history of the Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band is indeed one based on his rich multi-cultural heritage as a Nuyorican growing up in New York City’s South Bronx. His concept of having a big band that has no genre boundaries with limitless possibilities was forged 25 years ago back in 1998. It has yielded a series of groundbreaking, critically acclaimed albums that have all been Grammy-nominated with the band thrilling audiences worldwide at venues like the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Ravinia Festival, Verona Jazz Festival in Europe, and more.

Content Source: Two for the Show Media

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