Among the all-time most important salsa albums.

'Un gran precedente en la historia de la música latina The Fania All Stars, excelente e inolvidable.'

'Killer early work by the Fania All Stars – caught live at the legendary Cheetah club, which was the heart of the New York salsa scene at the start of the 70s. The album is easily one of the best by the group – and features long tracks that really capture the jamming intensity that occurred on stage when this many great artists were brought together in one space – kind of the "next step" for the older descarga mode put forth at the start of the 60s, pushed forward into the prouder, more unified Latin scene of the 70s. All Stars on this date include Ray Barretto, Larry Harlow, Bobby Valentin, Willie Colon, Johnny Pacheco, and others.' -Dusty Groove

'Recorded live at New York's premier discotheque with the usual, stellar All-Stars lineup, the groove is incessant, the mood exultant, and the players palpably happy with the audience and themselves as they exchange licks. The tunes are a bit long -- "Quitate Tu," the closer, is a 16-minute jam session in which the band members one by one contribute lyrics, to the delight of the audience. Ray Barretto's "Descarga Fania" features a lovely piano break and some inspiredly raucous horn playing (a nice contrast to the tightly arranged horn charts one usually hears), and Cheo Feliciano's lead vocal on "Anacaona" soars. Decades later, still the first salsa recording to reach for -- ultimate party music played by the masters.' -AllMusic Review by Janet Rosen

'The Fania All Stars’ had their first official performance in 1968 at the Red Garter in the Village. But it wasn’t until three years later that the group got hot at the Cheetah in New York. That summer, I was visiting New York from Puerto Rico. I was a young, impetuous youth strongly drawn to the honeyed sound of salsa that had been a musical magnet for most of my formative years. A group of my friends and I went to the Cheetah on that unforgettable night to see our musical idols and to share in the incredible sound that the distinguished leaders of their respective orchestras created together. Johnny Pacheco, Larry Harlow, Ismael Miranda, Willie Colón, Héctor LaVoe, Pete “El Conde” Rodríguez and Ray Barretto passed in front of us, while others that we had known back on the Island –Bobby Valentín, Cheo Feliciano and Roberto Roena– said hello to us. The combined delight of both public and arriving artists was palpable, an electricity that prefaced a special night. It was an exciting experience for this 17-year-old youth who never dreamed that years later he would be working as a journalist in New York City. That night at the Cheetah was a salsa-induced delirium marking the lives of many who were present on that historic occasion. Now with the new release of this recording, you have the opportunity to relive and enjoy that historic moment that would forever change Latin music throughout the world. The opening track is a traditional guajira number with a typically Cuban arrangement boasting the refrain, “Estrellas de Fania Llegaron Pa’Gozar.” (“The Fania All Stars are here to have fun.”) This theme of fun ran the night: the dance concert was a veritable adventure in delight and joy for all salsa fans. “Oye que rico suenan, las Estrellas de Fania,” (“Listen to how great the Fania All Stars sound”) boasts the refrain of the song “Descarga Fania,” a number that showcased the musical talents of the group, deftly directed by Maestro Johnny Pacheco. The mood then shifted with to a beautiful guaguancó number penned by Catalino “Tite” Curet Alonso and performed by Ponce native Cheo Feliciano: “Anacaona.” This song was widely broadcast in New York and Puerto Rico and marked the magnificent singer’s return to salsa after his recovery from drug addiction. “Anacaona,” a tribute to our cultural tradition, never sounded better than it did that night, under the New York City lights and with the accompaniment of the Fania All Stars. The album ends with the traditional number that the Fania All Stars performed in countless venues over the next three decades: “Quítate tú.” Here, the myriad singers of the impressive group –Cheo Feliciano, Héctor LaVoe, Pete “el Conde” Rodríguez, Adalberto Santiago; in short, all the stars that shone on that stage– demonstrated the talents that characterized the New York salsa sound. “Live at the Cheetah” is Part One of the musical volumes that will give you the chance to experience an unforgettable moment in time. Listening to this album, you will understand the music scene during an era that formed the roots of all subsequent movements that have sprouted from it and that continue flowering today in our vast musical forest.  -Written by Juan A. Moreno Velázquez

'Right from start, Fania Records and its subsidiaries exceeded everybody’s expectations. The label was created in 1964. It penetrated the market so successfully and became so popular at the international level that its executives decided to broaden its talent in order to reach an even wider audience. The result? The wildly successful Fania All Stars, a group that brought together several of the label’s most popular artists. This move would further solidify the label’s standing in the international music scene.

The Fania All Stars’ first concert, “Live at the Red Garter,” was a promotional experiment designed solely to test the waters. The all-star cast included Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Ricardo Ray, and Bobby Cruz, and resulted in a live double album. The experiment couldn’t have been more successful. In 1971, the band revolutionized salsa as a genre with “Fania All Stars at the Cheetah,” a concert that was filmed and recorded live. In 1973, following a successful tour, the band made its first appearance at Yankee Stadium in New York. The stars performed before countless fans that had caught the fever and were swooning in the presence of consecrated performers of the genre such as Willie Colón, Johnny Pacheco, Bobby Valentín, Ray Barreto, and Mongo Santamaría.This concert, too, was filmed and recorded live, and set the standard in the music industry.

The All Stars were on fertile soil, and they wasted no time in reaping the benefits. In 1974, they appeared live at the Statu Hai stadium in Kinshasa, Zaire, which was the scene of the movie “Fania All Stars Live in Africa.” In 1975, the band returned to Yankee Stadium, this time with such famous names as Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe, Justo Betancourt, Ismael Quintana, Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Mirando, Pete “El Conde” Rodríguez, Bobby Cruz, and Santos Colón. One after the other, the band continued performing in concerts that were just as successful and multitudinous: “Salsa,” “Live,” “Best Of,” "Live in Japan" (1976), and "Tribute to Tito Rodríguez,” which marked Rubén Blades’ first performance with the All Stars.

To properly celebrate the Fania All Stars’ 20th birthday and Fania Records’ 30th, the label has re-released two concerts: “Live in Africa” and “Live in Japan,” which propelled a successful tour across five continents and showed the identity of a created family that has spread its social, musical, and cultural message throughout the world.'

1. Introduction Theme (Cheetah) 5:21
2. Descarga Fania 9:18
3. Anacaona (Cheetah) 7:16
4. Quitate Tu 16:45

Notes
Incl. booklet

Credits
Bass – Bobby Valentin
Congas – Ray Barretto
Design [Album] – Izzy Sanabria
Directed By, Flute – Johnny Pacheco
Engineer – Alan Manger, Bernie Fox, Jon Fausty
Executive-Producer – Jerry Masucci
Graphics – Louise Hilton
Guest [Special Guest Stars] – Bobby Cruz, Ricardo Ray
Liner Notes – Juan A. Moreno Velazquez
Mastered By – Bob Katz
MC – Dizzy Izzy Sanabria, Symphony Sid
Performer – Roberto Roena, Willie Colón
Photography By [Cover] – Jose Florez
Photography By [Inside] – Vance Bryant
Piano, Producer – Larry Harlow
Timbales – Orestes Vilato
Tres – Yomo Toro
Trombone – Reinaldo Jorge
Trumpet – Roberto Rodriguez
Vocals – Adalberto Santiago, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Miranda, Pete 'El Condo' Rodríguez, Santos Colón