El Señor Sentimiento

by: Cheo Feliciano

Cheo Feliciano is one of the most celebrated and loved salsa vocalists in the music's history, and much like another salsa superstar, Hector Lavoe, some of his best work came when he was working under the leadership of someone else's group. That's the reason why El Señor Sentimiento includes so many valuable songs -- although its 30-track length is far too long for any but the most rabid fans. Feliciano debuted early in the '60s singing for Joe Cuba, and he was behind the microphone for Cuba's best and brightest recordings, "El Ratón" and the gloriously anarchic "El Pito." During a brief time with Eddie Palmieri, he recorded one of the most infectious boogaloos of all time, "Ay Que Rico." Once he began performing and recording, however, he began earning the sobriquet of this compilation's title, a sonero of soft ballads and melodramatic love songs (nearly all of them layered with woodwinds and strings). The two discs of El Señor Sentimiento peak early and move slowly through his solo years, so most salsa fans would be content with picking up his best moments with Cuba and Palmieri on various-artists compilations, then sticking with a single LP like 1971's Cheo. Thanks to Fania, though, there's a set out there for obsessive salsa fans. ~ John Bush

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