TOMMY OLIVENCIA Y SU ORQUESTA'S 1975 SALSA MASTERPIECE PLANTÉ BANDERA RETURNS TO VINYL

TOMMY OLIVENCIA Y SU ORQUESTA'S 1975 SALSA MASTERPIECE PLANTÉ BANDERA RETURNS TO VINYL

Just ahead of its 50th anniversary, Planté bandera, the salsa masterpiece from legendary bandleader and trumpet player Tommy Olivencia, will return to vinyl for the first time since 1975. The album, which features the celebrated vocalistChamaco Ramírez, includes such classic hits as “Trucutu,” “Planté bandera” and “Evelio y la rumba.

 

Arriving August 16 via Craft Latino, and available for pre-order now, the album has been newly remastered from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and is pressed on 180-gram vinyl for the ultimate listening experience. Rounding out the package is a tip-on jacket, replicating Planté bandera’s classic Inca Records artwork. A deluxe Bandera Blue vinyl color exclusive (limited to 300 copies), with an exciting bundle option that includes a limited-edition Planté bandera T-shirt, is available for pre-order at the Craft store. Additionally, the album will make its debut in 192/24 HD digital audio.

 

Planté bandera arrives as Craft Latino celebrates the 60th anniversary of Fania Records. One of the most significant Latin labels in the world, Fania has long been the definitive home for such influential genres as Latin big band, Afro-Cuban jazz, boogaloo, Latin soul and salsa. Throughout the year, Craft Latino will honor Fania’s enduring legacy through a variety of special releases and initiatives, including more than a dozen remastered 180-gram vinyl reissues, over two dozen remastered digital albums, plus curated playlists, artist spotlights and live events in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and London. Visit fania.com/fania-60th to learn more.

  

***

 

With a career that spanned nearly 50 years, celebrated bandleader and virtuosic horn player Tommy Olivencia (1938–2006) was instrumental in shaping the Puerto Rican salsa sound. Born in San Juan, Olivencia began playing the trumpet as a teenager—cutting his chops with local bands before creating his renowned orchestra, La Primerisima, in 1960. Beloved for their signature blend of melodic and swing styles, paired with a big brass sound, La Primerisima soon became known as an incubator for many of the best vocalists in Latin music, including such world-renowned singers as Paquito Guzmán, Chamaco Ramirez, Frankie Ruiz and Gilberto Santa Rosa.

 

In 1965, Olivencia signed to the newly formed Inca Records, releasing his debut, La nueva sensación musical de Puerto Rico, that same year. Over the next decade—thanks to best-selling albums like Secuestro (1972) and Juntos de nuevo (1974)—Olivencia would help make the Puerto Rican label (which was acquired by Fania Records in 1971) a force in Latin music. Among his most enduring albums, however, was 1975’s Planté bandera, which marked La Primerisima’s eighth and final LP with longtime vocalist Chamaco Ramirez.

 

Recorded in New York and produced by the great Luís “Perico” Ortiz, Planté bandera was comprised primarily of works by the prolific Puerto Rican composer Tite Curet Alonso, plus originals by Ortiz along with José Febles, Louie Cruz, Máximo Torres and Dominican trumpeter Cabrerita. Long considered a salsa masterpiece, the album featured many of Olivencia’s biggest hits, including the title track—a self-empowering coming-of-age song (which translates to “I Will Raise My Flag”) performed confidently by Ramirez. Planté bandera also found the band revisiting their classic ’60s hit, “Trucutu.” The song, penned by Ramirez, is an ode to truqueros (con artists) and showcases the artist’s vocal dexterity.

 

The energetic “Evelio y la rumba,” another chart-buster for the group, highlights the delicious bongo beats of José “Papi” Fuentes, as well as the nimble work of timbalero Julito Morales. Among the more sentimental tracks is “Como novela de amor,” which features a cameo by crooner José Pepe Sanchez, plus the bossa nova–tinged “El amor.”

 

While the album would only grow in popularity after its release, its title track would become Olivencia’s biggest hit. Today, “Planté bandera” is one of the most beloved Latin songs of all time with countless covers in existence. Olivencia and his bandmates, meanwhile, would continue to evolve with the changing times—always keeping the groundbreaking Primerisima sound fresh over the decades.

 

During his prolific career, Tommy Olivencia released over 20 albums and earned a variety of honors, including Puerto Rico’s prestigious Agüeybaná de Oro Award. Nearly two decades after his death, Olivencia remains one of the undisputed pillars of Caribbean music.

 

 

Planté Bandera Tracklist (Vinyl)

Side A

  1. Planté Bandera
  2. Casimira
  3. Como Novela De Amor
  4. A La Yumbae
  5. Si Estas Herido

 

Side B

  1. Evelio Y La Rumba
  2. El Amor
  3. A Mi Pai Chango
  4. Trucutu

 

*Digital track list mirrors the vinyl.

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