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Latin Cool - Home to the Heat
By Ben Ohmart
(more articles from this author)
2003-11-25
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While Capitol and Columbia are fighting over Top 40 airwaves, Latin Cool Records (www.latincool.com) is bringing down houses all around the world with a solid and ever-growing stable of hot Latin colts. Some labels are foolish enough to lump Latin in with World to such an extent that one sound gets lost in the crowd. Not so with Latin Cool: jazz, salsa, orchestral, rhythmic pop, romantic conga heat - these are the tools with which Wall Street veteran David Wasserman, and legendary arranger/producer Bobby Marin are building a pumping empire.

MP3: "Rumbambola"
Larry Harlow and the Latin Jazz Encounter

After little more than a year in operation, Latin Cool Records has already established itself as a major player in the Latin music industry and is now set to tackle the pitfalls & potentials found in the online music marketplace.. In an effort to be a pro-active record company, Latin Cool will be launching a Latin genre-specific downloading website on January 1st. To be called Latin Cool "Now," the site will initially offer Latin jazz and salsa music, but will expand to satisfy the tastes of all types of Latin music fans. In addition, a section of Latin Cool Now will be devoted to the classic recordings of artists such as Tito Puente, Machito, Charlie Palmieri, Louie Ramirez, and Orlando Marin, to name a few.

Artists such as Larry Harlow, flautist Andrea Brachfeld, singer Deborah Resto, and The Latin Jazz Coalition are just a few of Latin Cool's roster of talent, which keeps expanding. The important thing is that this isn't a one-sound label. There's no blaring brass section ALL the time, neither is there a smooth jazz vocal wafting through congas every waking moment. Andrea Brachfeld blows some sweet instrumentals, but you'll never confuse her with the big live sound of Larry Harlow and the Latin Jazz Encounter. Latin Cool just matches you mood for mood, that's all.

MP3: "Let Him Hear My Heart"
Deborah Resto

To quote the review of Cintron's "Latin Cool's Hit Men" CD: "What an epic! You've not heard a sound as wide and as glossy as this since the 1970s when the recession was still a thing of the future, when a band could be large enough to be instantly nostalgic to the days of the big band 1950s (wearing a large Latin coat of course) but still have enough manpower to light a match to Any new song given to them."

Says Bobby Marin, "Latin Cool started when I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. David Wasserman, a retired Wall Street tycoon who was interested in getting into the music business. He was introduced to me by a mutual friend, Chico Mendoza, who was aware of my decades of experience producing and marketing Latin recordings. We decided to start the Latin Cool label, with me acting as a consultant to him and to Latin Cool."

What makes Latin Cool different from other labels is the fact that they tend to work with established independent artists and producers, as opposed to developing their own music. "There is enough wonderful product out there, previously produced by independent Latin Jazz band leaders to keep us busy as licensees of this music."

MP3: "Descarga Son Charanga"
Andrea Brachfeld and Son Charanga

Latin Cool CDs
* Deborah Resto "Let Him Hear My Heart"
* Andrea Brachfeld "Back With Sweet Passion"
* Larry Harlow "Live at Birdland"
* Cintron "Latin Cool's Hit Men"
* The Latin Jazz Coalition "Trombón con Sazón"

The trick to starting a label - any label - is to have music people (we're talking musicians) behind it. Otherwise, you might as well be selling soup. "David learned to play keyboard from veteran musician/arranger, Chico Mendoza, founder and leader of the OCHO band. I play a little keyboard myself. Not enough to perform on my recordings, but useful when it comes to composing or arranging songs for my artists."

Yeah, the music biz is still a business. That's why, "I had decided that I would not want to be part of the 'Salsa' recording business, due to diminished sales and interest on the part of the consumer. I believe in the longevity of Latin Jazz, and was able to persuade David to invest his money in this specific genre."

MP3: "Trombón con Sazón"
The Latin Jazz Coalition with Demetrios Kastaris

"The growth seen in the nineties has diminished due to Internet downloading, a trend for younger consumers to lean toward a less conventional sound, and the demise of the Latin Commercial Radio Broadcasters who played traditional Salsa and Mambo recordings. Now, luckily, this type of music can be appreciated via the NPR and College stations that are formatting Latin Music. Our stars of tomorrow are those individuals with the foresight to create the music sought after by the intelligent music buyer. We feel that the growth of Latin Jazz and Afro-Cuban music is inevitable due to the maturity of the Latin Music aficionado and their individual tastes."

MP3: "Suavecito"
Cintron

If you're in the genre, and this all sounds too good to be true, Latin Cool has a few suggestions before you send that demo in the mail. "Have your recordings planned in advance and bring us completed or nearly completed product. This way we know what we're getting into, with little or no speculation on our part. We have been fortunate in having received finished product from some of the biggest names in the business. Then it is up to us to decide whether we want to enter into a licensing arrangement with these professional orchestra leaders and vocalists."

More on Latin Cool
* Genre: Latin Jazz
* Hometown: New York City/New Jersey
* Website: www.latincool.com
* Contact Latin Cool

In the coming months Latin Cool will be preparing and releasing DVD's in conjunction with the conventional CD's. "We feel that our market has grown sophisticated to the point where consumers want to visually see the performances of their artists as well as to listen to the wonderful sounds of Latin Jazz and Afro-Cuban music."

They are well entrenched in the process of amassing this wonderful independent Latin Jazz product while making it available to the world via their website. "Soon we will be able to provide this music to our site visitors, where they can listen to our various artists and decide which individual songs they would like to have assembled on CD's of their individual choices. We will provide the finished product according to their personal tastes."


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