Bobby Valentin The mind of a master
Roberto Valentin “Bobby Valentin” was one of the main collaborators and arrangers of the Fania All-Stars in the 1970s, over which time he also recorded numerous solo albums. Born in 1941 in the locality of Orocovis, Puerto Rico, he began playing guitar as a child and won a contest with a band that he conducted himself at the age of 11.
He began his trumpet studies at the age of 15 shortly before he moved with his family to New York, where he continued his studies under the direction of Carmina Caruso. In 1958 he started his professional career with the Joe Quijano’s Orchestra.
Valentin spent the next several years working as a trumpeter, guitarist, bassist and arranger for artists such as Willie Rosario, Charlie Palmieri, Ray Barreto, Tito Rodríguez and Willie Bobo, until the year 1965, when he debuted with an orchestra to his name by releasing two albums, one of them was under Johnny Pacheco‘s Fania label.
Bobby Valentin, the King of the Bass
During the following years, Valentin continued to release albums to his name under the Pacheco’s label, but he also began recording and making arrangements for the label’s band, the legendary Fania All Stars, which had the presence of important figures as Rubén Blades, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri, Papo Lucca, Mongo Santamaría, among many others.
In 1975, he began recording for his own label, but his work with the Fania All Stars goes on until the day. Since then, the musician continues to perform with his orchestra for the most important salsa and jazz festivals from all over the world, while at the beginning of the decade Valentin contributed arrangements for some Pacheco‘s songs, it was only natural that he released his albums under his new label.
And while Bobby Valentin moved with his orchestra to Puerto Rico in 1968, he continued to travel often to New York to record for Fania, in addition to working and arranging songs for the label’s band, the Fania All-Stars to which he helped define the sound through his bass, on classic albums of the 1970s like the Tribute to Tito Rodriguez or the live album at Yankee Stadium.
In 1978 he began recording for his own label, Bronco Records, through which he recorded “La boda de ella“, a song that became one of the most important of his career.In addition to continuing to release albums for his own label, the latter of which saw the light in 2016 under the name “Mi Ritmo es bueno” and Mind Of A Master in 2018.
The pop classic The Twist composed by Hank Ballard and popularized by Chubby Checker in 1960, now sounds in salsa clave in a new version created by musician, arranger and composer Bobby Valentin y su Orquesta.
For award-winning Puerto Rican composer, arranger, producer and musical director, to remember is to live, as a result of which he presented the song in Spanish and dance in order to interest the new generations.
“When I was based in New York, this was a boom, Chubby Checker recorded it! At that time, what was done in rock & roll and today’s music is called salsa and it was all about dancing. There was the chachachá, the pachanga, the boogaloo… Everything was visual, with dancing! Chubby Checkerwas in all the TV shows… I recorded the song a year and a half ago, but the premiere was pushed back for the pandemic. I figured I could do it in salsa without losing the essence of that time,” he said.
The Twist https://youtu.be/zf-SjdhbH9M