Joe Bataan – Ordinary Guy

by admin / Monday, 08 June 2015 / Published in Latin Music

From doo-wop to hip-hop, Joe Bataan had his finger on the pulse of the Latin streets.  It’s fitting that the term “Salsoul,” which gave its name to the legendary record label, first appeared as the title a Bataan album.  It’s similarly fitting that Bataan’s first hit was a 1967 cover of “Gypsy Woman” that kicked up the rhythmic energy on Curtis Mayfield’s original.  For the next fifteen years, Bataan’s blend of soulful vocals and funky salsa, spiced by Bataan’s distinctive piano, was a constant presence on New York dance floors.  “Ordinary Guy,” which includes his laid back claim to a degree in “streetology,” highlights both Bataan’s effortless vocals and, after he shouts “Salsa!” at the three minute mark, the funky groove that a dance-floor DJ could keep going for as long as the dancers were responding.  If, as the lyrics claim, he’s “Afro-Filipino, average sort of guy,” it’s a statement on the extraordinary quality of everyday people.  Follow up “Ordinary Guy” with the classic groove of “Latin Street,” his disco-tinged reworking of Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Bottle,” or the Jurassic era good times hip-hop hit, “Rap O Clap O.”

Joe Bataan - Ordinary Guy