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Cocinando! Fifty Years Of Latin Album Cover Art

By Tom Pryor

Pablo Yglesias

Princeton Architectural Press 

The title of this hip little volume—translated from Spanish as “Cooking!”—says it all. This book sizzles with a collection of Latin album covers that reaches back to the CuBop and Mambo of the ’40s and ’50s to the artsy alternative aesthetics of today’s rock en español releases. While all of these eras are fascinating, the book really comes alive with the material from the 1960s and 1970, which saw both the rise of LP art and the transition from campy bugaloo and Latin soul covers to the dynamic, self-assured “Deluxe”-style artwork of the salsa explosion. All of the art here is contextualized with valuable, exhaustively-researched connective text by the author and a forward by Izzy Sanabria, the legendary art director of Fania records. But the art itself, in all its funky, sexy glory, is the real star here.