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Our Latin Thing (1972)

Chronicle of the birth of Salsa at a concert August 26, 1971 at The Cheetah Club in Midtown Manhattan. The Fania record label gathered it's finest musicians for one night and dubbed them ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Barretto ... Himself
... Himself
Larry Harlow
... Himself
Roberto Roena
Bobby Valentín
Santos Colon
Hector Lavoe ... Himself
Ismael Miranda ... Himself
Pete 'El Conde' Rodriguez
Adalberto Santiago ... Himself
Bobby Cruz
... Himself
Ricardo Ray
Renaldo Jorge
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Storyline

Chronicle of the birth of Salsa at a concert August 26, 1971 at The Cheetah Club in Midtown Manhattan. The Fania record label gathered it's finest musicians for one night and dubbed them The Fania All-Stars, the cream of New York's latin scene. Written by djstretch

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concert film | salsa | See All (2) »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

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Release Date:

1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nuestra Cosa  »

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1.37 : 1
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Featured in Yo soy la Salsa (2014) See more »

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An uplifting chronicle on the origins of Salsa as a genre in NY.
21 January 2015 | by See all my reviews

Latin dance music has been around for a long time, but the term "salsa" was initially promoted and marketed in New York City during the 1970s in an attempt to unify several different Latin musical styles. This loose documentary and concert film was made by Salsa's most influential pioneers, the Fania All-Stars. It features footage from a 1971 concert at the Cheetah club on Broadway and 53rd.

To Salsa aficionados, this movie is Woodstock - a canonical performance. Johnny Pacheco (the creator of the Fania All-Stars), Ray Barretto, Willie Colón, Larry Harlow, Roberto Roena, Bobby Valentín, Eddie Palmieri, and Héctor Lavoe, among the founding fathers of modern Salsa, are all there. It was a memorable performance also because it went so well despite very little rehearsal time.

In addition to the night at the Cheetah, the movie includes footage from street performances in the Lower East Side by the likes of Ismael Miranda and Larry Harlow. Among the notable outdoor performances, Johnny Pacheco's flute solo in "Lamento de un Guajiro" is not to be missed.

Made on a relatively small budget of under $100,000, the movie is rough, but mesmerizing. Directed and produced by Leon Gast, it has an honest and elemental quality that will be familiar to anyone who has seen his later work, including the very successful "When We Were Kings". It's not just music. It shows life, children getting dirty and smiling, and people dancing in the street. It makes you appreciate the sheer joy of the music in a way sanitized presentations simply can't.

"Nuestra Cosa", as the movie is titled in Spanish, has recently been re-mastered and is available on Netflix in HD.


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