Artists don't come with more credentials than Joe Bataan, who anticipated the disco movement with his ‘latin soul’ sound, had one of the first ever charting rap records (in 1979!) and who’s ‘Salsoul’ album gave the seminal disco label it’s name.
In fact Bataan’s cover of Gil Scott Heron’s ‘The Bottle’ is now considered one of disco’s earliest hits, putting this effervescent performer ahead of the curve on the two most important musical genres to have emerged out of New York City.
Growing up in Spanish Harlem, Bataan ran with Puerto Rican gangs before he turned his attention to music. A self-taught pianist, his first record ‘Gypsy Woman’ was a Fania hit on the New York Latin market, despite the fact that Bataan sang the lyrics in English.
He continued to break down barriers by fusing Afro-Cuban, Brazillian and Orchestral Funk on his Afrofillipino and Salsoul LPs. Widely hailed as the inventor of the Latin Soul genre, Bataan can no doubt also be considered one of the originators of Disco itself.