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Great Snapshot into Late-Period Lavoe,
This review is from: Live (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful record -- it should be re-released now to complement Fania's re-issuing of its vast and terrific catalog (anchored by those incredible Lavoe LPs from between 1975-81). This particular show may have been recorded in 1986-87, right before Lavoe's world came tumbling down (within months, his teenage son died tragically, his house burned down and he was diagnosed with AIDS).
Lavoe sounds great, as he did when he ruled the salsa world in the mid- to late 70s (before merengue took over), and seems to be in very good spirits; his musicians, members of the Angel Canales band, sound tight and alive.
Although the liner notes say this show was recorded in the 70s, it wasn't -- Lavoe refers a couple of times to his "upcoming" record, "Strikes Back," which came out in 1987. Also, Lavoe recorded some of the songs included here in the 80s ("Plato de segunda mesa", "El rey de la puntualidad") with the Fania All-Stars.
All in all, a wonderful snapshot of a star who was about to suffer a long and painful decline. It's fitting that the recording ends abruptly and before the second set, with a too-short version of "El cantante" -- that's how Lavoe's life was.