Ismael Quintana is a historical figure in the world of Latin music. Before the powerful Fania label took root in the salsa boom of the 1970s, Ismael had already left his mark on the history of Afro-Cuban music, as a result of his early association with Eddie Palmieri's Conjunto La Perfecta, a relationship that was initiated in the 1960s and remains as influential today. Quintana's voice, allied with Palmieri's creativity, caused a sensation, just in time as the golden era of the Palladium big bands was about to reach its culminating point. Their sound, rustic but revolutionary, somehow allowed them to share the stage with such giants as Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez.
Proudly Puerto Rican and affectionately known as "Pat," Ismael entered the big leagues almost immediately. Prior to his tenure with Palmieri, Quintana's musical experience was rather minimal, although his collaboration with Ángel Nater's orchestra was probably the most memorable factor. But this didn't make any difference: Eddie Palmieri and Ismael Quintana were made for each other. Their alliance--backed by such top players as Barry Rodgers, Manny Oquendo, José Rodrigues, etc.--was the unstoppable key to success that allowed La Perfecta to go down in history.
After reaping laurels with Eddie in the 1960s and '70s through such unforgettable hits as Tirándote flores, Ritmo caliente, Lo que traigo es sabroso, Bomba del Corazón, Sujétate la Lengua, Bilongo, Café, Vámonos Pa'1 Monte, Justicia, Muñeca, Adoración and Puerto Rico, among many others, Quintana initiated his successful solo career, under the protection of the Fania label, and recorded three albums for Vaya Records (a Fania subsidiary), in addition to certain collaborations with Papo Lucca and Ricardo Marrero. One must not forget, however, that Quintana had already recorded two albums as a solo artist for United Artists during his tenure with Palmieri.
Ismael Quintana also had (and continues to have) the privilege of being a member of the legendary Fania All Stars, whom he joined after their successful and historical concert at The Cheetah. According to Quintana, Jerry Masucci--one of the owners of Fania Records--asked him to write a song that he could sing with the Fania All Stars. The result was the well-known tune titled Mi Debilidad, which he has interpreted with this stellar group on innumerable occasions.
Ismael Quintana still remains an active participant of the Fania All Stars, whenever they get together nowadays. Although he suffered some health setbacks two years ago, Ismael has gradually recovered to resume his musical struggle, always interpreting a medley of Adoración and Puerto Rico, especially formulated for his vocal interventions with the Fania All Stars.
~ Taken from "Love, life and feeling: a conversation with Ismael Quintana", Latin Beat Magazine, August 2006.
Adoracion. Ismael Quintana & Fania All Stars. Cali. 199
Ismael Quintana and Fania All Stars, performing live "Mi Debilidad" in Venezuela.
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- Last update September 21st, 2011 by Mario -