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“Family!” Latin music is in mourning with the departure of Puerto Rican singer Cheo Feliciano! I will always remember Cheo for his flavor in singing salsa, and the sentimentality of his boleros.
Flavor in his Salsa
Cheo Feliciano won over the Latin public with his singing style. Possessing a very natural style, he was somehow influenced by his mentor, the great Tito Rodríguez. Cheo managed to capture in his interpretations a harmonious singing with the flavor of Juan del Pueblo. His singing style and his friendly and open personality made him “El Niño Mimado de Puerto Rico“.
I will always remember Cheo Feliciano’s style of “sonear“. A style of improvisation where he played around the “clave“, delivering tasty and meaningful “soneos“. His phrasing was unique, which he perfected during his years with Joe Cuba. Cheo served as a school for many of the Salsa singers of the next generations. One of his biggest fans was Rubén Blades, who at the beginning of his career imitated Cheo Feliciano’s style.
Cheo Feliciano was one of the first singers on the Fania label to release a bolero album. There were other singers like Santitos Colon, who was an established bolero and guaracha singer, and there were other singers before Cheo who mastered bolero and guaracha and son, like Gilberto Monroig, Vicentico Valdés, and Tito Rodríguez.
But in the ’70s, Cheo distinguished himself for the interpretative quality of his boleros.
Danny Rivera Discusses Video with Cheo Feliciano
A few years ago a friend of mine showed me the video that I share with you below. I was delighted with the video, and have previously shared it here in Latino Music Café.
Just a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Danny Rivera on the occasion of his new album “Obsesión“, an album of boleros (you can read the blog of my interview with Danny HERE). I couldn’t resist asking Danny about that video and why he never recorded an album with Cheo Feliciano.
Below is the audio of that segment of my interview with Danny Rivera where I ask him about his collaboration with Cheo Feliciano.
I also had the opportunity to talk with Nelson Gonzalez, who is the co-producer of ‘Obsesión“, and he told me that there is the idea of making another bolero album with Danny, which would be “Obsesion 2“.
In my review of “Obsesión” I indicate that I would love for Danny Rivera to do some duets in “Obsesión 2“, and I especially mention as an example that he would do a song with Cheo Feliciano performing a bolero by Bobby Capó or Tite Curet Alonso. What a pity that this will no longer be possible!
Enjoy the video of Cheo with Danny Rivera: