Originally released in 1970 by little-known Chicago imprint Futuro, ‘Vamonos / Let’s Go!’ is the first and only album recorded by Brooklyn neighbourhood salsa band ‘The Orchestra Soledad’. Led by trombonist and singer Hector Ramos, the music of Orchestra Soledad is characterised by brash and energetic salsa arrangements created by Ramos himself, who also composed (or co-composed) all of the music featured on the LP.
This ultra-rare record came to our attention courtesy of DJ Amir who discovered it (along with a ‘battle of the bands’ trophy that the band had won) in a shop located only blocks away from the Bushwick home of Hector Ramos. Immediately captivated by the striking artwork and incredible music, Amir went on to include the track “El Ritmo Soledad” on his 2016 BBE compilation ‘Buena MÃºsica Y Cultura’, an album celebrating latin music from across the Americas.
The Orchestra Soledad was made up of talented local kids (maybe local heroes), all dreaming of Fania All-Stars fame when they stepped in the studio, sadly destined never to ‘make it’. Yet this one shining album remains, a lasting testament to their brilliance. Raw, authentic 70s street salsa, all the recordings featured on ‘Vamonos/ Let’s Go!’ have a distinctly live, unpolished feel, evoking all the sweat and drama of a hot summer’s night in the barrios of Sunset Park, Bushwick or Williamsburg back in the day.