Chicago’s own Numero Group have unearthed another sonic gem from the claws of obscurity, this time digging up a Latin soul/band from Lorain Ohio known as The Nombres. The story begins in the late 40’s when the Northern Ohio region became a second home to a large migrant community of Puerto Ricans who later established themselves in small cities like Lorain. Nicknamed “La Colonia” by the local Puerto Rican population, it would become the home to second generation teens like brothers Willie and Nelson Marquez along with close friend Pepe Rivera, who formed the band’s initial band members jamming out of their parent’s living room often with borrowed equipment and second rate equipment.
In time and with some support by mentorlike figures like Diego Martinez, the band matured along the way exposing themselves to more influences including a heavy dose of Motown as well as Santana who had exploded onto the scene in 1969. By the end of the decade the band lined up their first recording session with Cleveland’s seminal Boddie label cutting a single under the guidance of the multi-talented musician/producer Lou Ragland. (See the Numero Groups tremendous reissue of Boddie material)
In the years to follow the band continued to cut numerous singles on small indie labels and establishing their name in the local music scene, all while not forgetting their Puerto Rican roots. This release on Numero’s asterisk side label reissues a choice selection of singles, b-sides, and unrealeased material from the band. The disc brilliantly showcases the band’s unique sound, from the get get showcasing Willie Marquez’s tremendous vocal chops on cuts like “Loving You” to instrumentals that round out the set with some serious grooves that really make this set of cuts stand out. Like all Numero releases it is nicely accompanied by extensive liner notes and available on CD and high quality LP. Check out our exclusive interview with the disc’s researcher and compiler Jon Kirby above.
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