Tuesday, June 26, 2007

78s fRom HeLL: Esy Morales & El Boy - Easy Does It (1950)

Flutist, bandleader and composer Esy Morales (1917-1950) was the younger brother of pianist-bandleader Noro Morales, born in Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico to a musical family.

Esy moved to New York in 1930 and played with Xavier Cugat's orchestra for several years before teaming with Noro in the Brothers Morales Orchestra in 1938.
He left to form his own band in 1947.
Trumpet player Doc Severinsen was a member of the group at one point.

In 1949, 'Esy Morales and his Rhumba Band' had a cameo appearance in the film-noir thriller 'Criss Cross', which starred
Burt Lancaster and Yvonne De Carlo.

'Easy Does It' was recorded in 1950 and released as the flip-side to Morales' original composition 'Jungle Fantasy', a tune later covered by Herbie Mann, Yusef Lateef and many others.

(click for audio)

Listen to: Esy Morales and his Latin-American Orchestra, vocal by El Boy - Easy Does It

Listen to: Esy Morales and his Latin-American Orchestra - Jungle Fantasy

Esy Morales would die far too young, of a sudden heart attack later that same year.

The Morales Brothers' close friend Tito Puente composed and recorded his song 'Esy' in tribute soon after.
(Thanks to Big Band Database Plus for some reference material)

Singer Juan Ramón Torres, a.k.a. 'El Boy' was also from Puerto Rico, and during the 1940s was a popular vocalist in New York, performing with several of the established 'latin' big bands.

(Thanks to jaramij for the photo of El Boy)


Anonymous said...

Last night i watched one of the greatest movies of all time, Criss Cross. As soon as I heard Jungle Fantasy play i like it, within a minute i loved it.
Viva Esy Morales and his rhumba band.

Unknown said...

Que viva!!!

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