Listen/Download -Louie Ramirez – Do It Any Way You Wanna
This will be the last post this week.
The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, and the fam and I have some visiting, and then some chilling to do.
At least as an adult, Thanksgiving has always been the holiday that meant the most to me, especially since I got married and had kids. Aside from the gustatory orgy that the holiday is best known for, it really has become for me a time of serious reflection, in which despite whatever petty annoyance is getting its hooks into me, I try to turn inward and realize all that I have to be thankful for.
First and foremost come family and friends. A distant but important second is the fact that I have the blogs as a creative outlet. No matter how much real world action you have on your plate, it wouldn’t be tolerable without something to wrap your head (and ears) around, music being the food of love and all that (so sayeth Willie the Shake).
That said, I figured that if the blogging week were to be truncated, then it behooved me to pony up something extra heavy that you might carry with you into the festive holiday weekend.
Today’s selection first hit me back in the spring when my man Tony C included it in a mix he did for the Hook and Sling blog. The tune in question opened the mix and grabbed me from its opening notes. The song (though not the version) was oddly familiar, so I set to Google-ing and discovered that the number in question was a cover of the 1975 People’s Choice hit (their biggest) ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’, a record I hadn’t heard since it was first on the radio.
The version in the Tony C mix was by latin jazz vibraphonist/percussionist Louie Ramirez, and came from his 1976 LP ‘A Different Shade of Black’.
I set out in search of my own copy, and for a while wasn’t even sure if it had come out on a 45. It was only recently, while searching for something else entirely that I happened upon a very nice copy of said 45 at an equally nice price, apprehending and appending it to the Funky16Corners crates.
Ramirez spent the 60s and early 70s as an important supporting player on the boogaloo and salsa scenes, working with Joe Loco, Charlie Palmieri, Joe Cuba and Tito Rodriguez. His version of ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’ passes the original version and leaves it in the dust. The Ramirez take on the tune has a much more aggressive tempo and an absolutely dynamic arrangement. The opening shock of strings, giving way to the drum breakdown, then on to the familiar riff really grabs your ears in a way that the People’s Choice version never really achieves. It’s really mind blowing when you place the versions side by side, that the Louie Ramirez record, with its amazing blend of latin, funk and disco wasn’t a hit.
The record is a killer, and hopefully it’ll hold you all until Monday.
Have a great holiday and I’ll see you next week.
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