Just a couple months after we finished working on the reissue of his funky Latin jazz masterpiece, Bobby Vince Paunetto passed away on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. As Los Angeles DJ and music historian Miles Perlich wrote in the liner notes:
Bobby Vince Paunetto was born June 22, 1944, into a family of Italian and Catalonian descent. Originally from Brooklyn, the Paunettos soon settled into a middle-class home in the Bronx where Bobby Vince and his two older brothers, Raymond and William (later honored in Paunetto’s composition “Brother Will”) would soon come of age. The boys’ mother, Rosemarie, loved to sing tangos and dance the Lindy and occasionally performed at social gatherings. In 1949, Rosemarie took Bobby Vince (at the tender age of five) to audition as a dancer at the famed Roxy Theatre, a place that also bore witness to the genius of Mr. Fred Astaire. And though the family spoke English at home, Rosemarie was able to speak Spanish well enough to later compose beautiful lyrics to her son’s music (on the Seeco 45s).
Though Paunetto was exposed to a wide variety of music at home, he got his first real taste of jazz listening to radio eccentric Douglas “Jocko” Henderson (“Mr. Oo-Papa-Doo, How Do You Do!”), often credited as being one of the very first rappers. “When I heard Charlie Parker,” Paunetto remembers, “with that saxophone that was faster than the speed of light, I really flipped.” And as far as his exquisite taste in Latin music, Bobby Vince has his older brother Raymond to thank. “Ray would go dancing at the Palladium and see all the great Latin bands, like Tito Puente, and I learned a lot about the music from him.”
One of the rarest Fania-owned Latin records of the late 1960s, El Sonido Moderno is a funky breakbeat treat of vibes and Latin rhythms that has been whispered about by collectors for decades.
Also included as a bonus on this reissue is the 1965 Seeco Records sessions, dug up with the guidance of Perlich. The incredible collection of soulful guajiras and jazz jams were recorded with the help of Latin luminaries like Bobby Rodríguez on bass, Dandy Rodríguez on timbales, Sonny Bravo on piano, and the dream team of vocalists Willie Torres, Santos Colón, and Chivirico Dávila.