by Willie Colon
Released: Jan 1972
Trombonist and bandleader Willie Colón guided Latin music in stunning directions, even from a young age. Crime Pays, a Fania compilation of his first four albums (including El Malo, which made him a star at 17 in 1967), spotlights both the "gangster" image he cultivated and his work with vocalist Hector Lavoe. Gritty and pulsing with the swaggering energy of Colón's trombone and Lavoe's resonant, boyish croon, tracks like the intoxicatingly cocky "Juana Pena" and the sultry, snarling "Que Lio" showcase two kids running on youthful confidence and raw talent.