Grooves & Samples #19: Phirpo y sus Caribes – Comencemos (1972)
Grooves & Samples is a weekly dive into old dusty crates of jazz, funk, soul and beyond.
As a crate digger of hispanic descent, I particularly love seeking out latin funk, soul, and jazz fusion records. There is something truly special about the mixture of North American groovy styles with the spicy flavours of South America. Plus, the LPs often have hilariously sexified covers featuring scantily clad women. Case in point, check the alternate Venezuelan and Colombian release covers for our feature this week; Phirpo y sus Caribes 1972 record Parilla Caliente.
A great deal of my latin funk, cumbia, and salsa records have covers similar to these two sleeves for Parilla Caliente (Spicy Barbecue in english). This style of cover art immediately catches your eye when flipping through crates of records, although the music can be hit and miss. This album however is definitely a hit, it’s a massive collection of latin funk gems that goes for quite a pretty penny among collectors.
The band was apparently led by accomplished Venezuelan salsa band leader Porfi Jiminez (Porfi backwards is Phirpo). Parilla Caliente is his primary funk effort and features various covers of popular songs from the time reworked with a distinct latin flavour. The intro to the album is a blazing cover of Fela Kuti’s “Let’s Start” called “Comencemos”. Check it out below and if you ever spot some Porfi Jiminez records, or this LP in particular, then be sure to pick it up!