Our walk down Salsa's history lane will slow down to a crawl. This will allow for a closer look at each one of the Fania Stars. But let's begin with a look on the rear view mirror. One of the precursor rhythms to Salsa was something called Latin Boogaloo and the father of this rhythm was Gilberto Miguel Calderón. He was a Neuyorican, someone born in New York to Puerto Rican parents. By the end of 1950s, Calderón had become Tito Puente's friend, had formed his own band (The Joe Cuba Sextet), and had changed his name to - well-- Joe Cuba.

In 1964, a rising vocalist and future Fania star named Cheo Feliciano was given the charge to sing Joe Cuba's song Que Problema (What a Problem). Here it is:

Que Problema by The Joe Cuba Sextet with Cheo Feliciano

Fania re-wrote this song and popularized it in the voice of Hector Lavoe. They named it, Que Lio (another way of saying What a Problem!). I like the fact that the first word in this drum beat based jam is a well deserved "Africa". Also, listen in this slow, heart felt bolero for Willie Colón's famous Trombone.

Que Lío by Hector Lavoe

Finally, Marc Anthony did a decent update of the song for the movie "El Cantante" about the life of Hector Lavoe.


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