Happy birthday to Louie Ramirez, one of the great figures in salsa as a producer, arranger, vibraphone player, percussionist, composer and mentor to many. He's been called "the Quincy Jones of salsa" for the diversity of his work and because he worked with many of the biggest names in salsa including Johnny Pacheco, Charlie Palmieri, Joe Cuba, Tito Rodriguez, Willie Colón, Jimmy Sabater, Hector Lavoe, Fania All Stars,Tipica 73, Sonora Ponceña, Ray Barretto, Sabu Martinez, Ralfi Pagan and many more.
If rare grooves of funky salsa and boogaloo is what you want then surely you'll find him working on deep items by Azuquita, Moon People, Benitez & Nebula, The Real Thing, The Nitty Gritty Sextet and "Hot Chocolate" by Chocolate Armenteros. And that says nothing of his version of the all-time disco smash "Do It Any Way You Want", found on his excellent LP A Different Shade of Black. All told, his records included salsa, funk, disco, boogaloo, jazz and more, from rootsy to slick to weird to groovy. Gringos may not know who he is but if you are a deep-digging DJ you no doubt have picked up one of his productions without even knowing it.
From his 1965 album on Alegre, Vibes Galore:
Here's his version of the Leon Huff/People's Choice disco hit:
"Land of Love":
The rare 12" version of "Salsa"
In '72 he teamed with Tito Rodríguez for an album: