“GET BUSY” is Ritmo Delgado’s interpretation of a favorite Chano Pozo classic "Manteca”. It combines various styles of music that range from Latin jazz to funk and rock with a deep inner-city groove. While it pays homage to the greats that recorded the original composition like Dizzie Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Chico O’Farrell, Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barretto and many others; unlike other remakes, Delgado’s version carries a smooth-swinging blend of character voices and percussive elements that project a fun message everyone can relate to.
Delgado’s version of “Manteca” was recorded in 1995 with a group of seasoned jazz-cats that played on a small stage they called “The Pit”; at the Metropolis Restaurant in NY. Richard Kessler, CEO of Platinum Island Studios at the time, baptized the rocking gang with the name “REVIVAL”. Louie Delgado; Revival’s “conguero”; had the premonition of recording the bunch with the cover tune “Manteca”. The only vocals recorded at the time were those of Babi Floyd when he suddenly showed up at the last minute and belted a stellar performance that caused everyone to jump out of their seats; thus carving his signature style into the track during what everyone referred to at the time as “the busiest recording session in NY”; yet the tune remained without substantial lyrics. "Manteca” was never released and consequently the project was “shelved”; hibernating, unplayed for years. The 2-inch master tape roamed the earth, going to hell and back; fermenting for 13 years. Louie Delgado, now CEO of Ritmo Delgado and Executive Producer of the project; met actor/ singer/ writer Chiko Mendez at a film networking event. There they spoke about the possibility of updating the tune with a fresh voice. Delighted to be part of the All-Star line-up; an extremely interested Chiko said yes and jumped into the project as the “grasshopper” of the project without hesitation and the project was jump-started once again. Over a decade later; Peter Darmi (2x Grammy recipient) was tracked down and proudly came back on board with loyal intentions of finishing what he felt was “a labor of love”. A meeting was set to transfer the tape in a hi-end studio but they all feared a producer’s worst nightmare, a deteriorated tape. Miraculously, and thanks to the durable quality of Ampex; the 24-track master was intact and sounded as if was recorded just yesterday. It was then transferred to a digital format.
Delgado conferred with Darmi and after listening to a few of Chiko’s own compositions on guitar; they agreed that his writing/ vocal nuances & musical versatility would be an asset to the project; and gave him full reign to experiment. Delgado trusted Chiko’s artistry and influenced him to approach the track freely but had not a clue what would unveil. Darmi’s insight to this was "everything will unfold as it should”. Chiko researched the history of the original tune and wanted to try something new; yet pay tribute to the masters; so he came up with an entire set of English lyrics that catered to all those who just “want, need & have” to “Get Busy” and entitled it exactly that. Inspired by the explosive NY sound that took years to harness; Chiko continued writing verses up until minutes before jumping in the booth to cut the vocals successfully.
Now marinated into something uniquely raw and “in your face”; Ritmo Delgado Productions releases their English rendition of “Manteca” with a “boing, boing, boing” as Babi puts it; while everyone will “bee” expected to “GET BUSY”.