During the Seventies Coco Records established itself as one of New York’s premier salsa labels with a series of albums of hard-hitting Latin music with a sprinkling of Latin pop, Latin rock and novelty albums.
Adopting a policy of only signing a small number of quality acts rather than going for quantity, Coco was able to provide its select roster of artists with room to explore their mainly Cuban and Puerto Rican roots.
As a result of this, most of the company’s signings grasped the opportunity to produce some of their most innovative work during their tenures with Coco.
The label’s output stretched the boundaries of salsa music in the Seventies, setting a benchmark for the following two decades.
Bandleader Harvey Averne turned label boss at the beginning of the '70s when he founded the Coco imprint. During its short history of just over a decade, the label clocked-up a number of major achievements:
• The Coco albums Sun of Latin Music [listen here] and Unfinished Masterpiece [listen here] by Eddie Palmieri won the first two ever Grammys for Best Latin Recording for the years 1975 and 1976.
• Coco reunited for the last time on record, original members of the legendary Puerto Rican group Cortijo y su Combo. [listen here]
• Coco signed-up two key bands of the flute and violins charanga revival, Fajardo y sus Estrellas and Orquesta Broadway. Broadway's second album for the label, ‘Pasaporte’, is one of the most highly acclaimed charanga albums so far produced. [listen here]
Fajardo y sus Estrellas
Orquesta Broadway - Pasaporte
• Coco kept alive the New York tradition of recording stellar descarga or Latin jam sessions, begun in 1961 by Alegre label founder Al Santiago (1932-1996), by distributing two albums by the Cesta All-Stars.