Cookin’ la salsa with Pijuan & his Sextet…

“Cocinando con la salsa

“Me voy pa’ carolina”

“Cortaron a Elena”

Here’s a little plate of salsa and boogaloo from one of Puerto Rico’s most vibrant figures, José Juan Piñero González, better known as “Pijuan”. Taking a bit of inspiration from NYs other heavy weight sextets,namely Joe Cuba’s, the band sprung up in 1966 and was among the only sextets working the lounge and hotel circuit on the island. Six turned out to be the magic number for Pijuan and it gave  the  group a tight and versatile range of talent that enabled it to easily handle a variety of styles which included guaguancos, boogloo, son, salsa, and even Colombian folk songs.

Pijuan remained a strong force well into the 70’s and 80’s working in both television and film productions, started his own label as well as producing in 1973 “La Factoria de la Salsa” which became a “Soul Train” for salsa headz.

La Factoria de la Salsa

Here’s a trio of cookers from the sextet’s fourth album on Hit Parade “Sabor a Pueblo” from 1969, featuring Pijuan on piano, organ, and vocals. “Cocinando con mi salsa” and “Me voy pa’ carolina” are a pair of salsa groovers with some very tasty keys and plenty of jazzy flair from the group’s alto sax. “Cortaron a Elena” is a really sweet boogaloo with plenty of swing along with great arrangement that flexes the groups sweet electric guitar playing as well. Enjoy the tunes. EB


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    1. I’m not sure if he’s still performing, but that’s amazing that you we’re friend’s with him, here’s a great recent interview that gave me a lot of history on Pijuan, plus if you see near the end of the article there’s a telephone number provided where you can reach Pijuan directly, check it out, btw I have an extra sealed copy of this LP if your interested in it I can send it out to you. EB

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