Alonso described Panama as a country “with a foot in each side”, referring to its unique geography that connects North and South America. The blending of Latin and English-speaking cultures had a big influence on Alonso, whose work draws on elements from West-Indian, Afro-Cuban and Panamanian folk musical styles. From the upbeat mambo rhythms of “Amigo” to the unusual combination of Calypso and Tamborera styles used in “My Brother, Too,” Alonso weaves a rich musical tapestry into his arrangements. Back in 50s Panama, Alonso enjoyed quite a lot of success, with the likes of Orquesta Armando Boza and Tito Contreras performing his songs. So distinctive were his compositions that people had started referring to them by their own style – el stylito Winsor (the Winsor style), a reference to a club that Alonso performed at. Throughout his music career, Alonso worked with a number of renowned musicians, several of whom appear on the record, including Cuban-Jazz pioneer Arsenio Rodríguez’s main bassist, Alfonso Joseph; and saxophonist and flutist Gene Jefferson to name a few.
Sadly, not many copies remain of Alonso’s music today and the few that have surfaced over the years have naturally demanded high asking prices. This limited reissue aims to shed new light on Alonso’s work and make it available for a new generation of listeners to enjoy. Great care has been taken to restore this record, using quality mastering to ensure maximum listening pleasure and retaining the original artwork with lyrics and the song descriptions written at the time. Each record comes with an insert containing restored photos and detailed biography, which features quotes from a rare interview with Alonso from the 1980s along with information gathered from his family and Alfonso Joseph, the only musician we could reach who plays on the record.
Limited to 500 copies. 180g LP with tip-on sleeve.