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SALSAROOTS  CD REVIEWS

Summer 2002

Right now there's tons of great Salsa music for you to enjoy.  My current favorites are sure to make die-hard Salsa dancers very happy and insure the success of your summer parties.


Orlando Valle "Maraca"

Tremenda Rumba! (Ahi-Nama Records 1034),

Orlando "Maraca" Valle is one of my favorite Latin music musicians and once you listen to his latest release "Tremenda Rumba" you why.  He is a superb flautist who always has a stunning group of muscians in his band.  He leads you on a breathtaking  musical journey through many styles of Cuban music from son to danzon to timba.  I am very fond of the CD cover which features the Afro-Cuban murals of Salvador Gonzales that are in a little alley in Havana called Callejon de Hamil.  Callejon de Hamil has very popular, free rumba jam sessions every Sunday.  My favorites on this CD include Se Te Acabo La Rumba (#1), Para Illusion (#5), Danzon Barroco (#7) and La Novela (#8)"Tremenda Rumba" is my top pick for this season.

Songs

1-Se Te Acabo Rumba
2-Castigala
3-El Fuelle
4-Caramelo A Quilo
5-Para Ilusion
6-Introduccion Al Danzan
7-Danzon Barroco
8-La Novela
9-Cuba En Carnaval
10-Yo Bailo De Toto
11-Obbatala Ayacuna
12-Castigala Remixes

 


Adalaberto Alvarez 

Suena Cubano
El Son de Adalberto (Bismusic)

Adalberto Alavarez has been prolific composer and exciting performer on the Cuban music scene for over 20 years. His latest release Suena Cubano proves that he plans to stay on top of many years to come.  His infectious rhythym section, powerful horn section and multi-textured sounds definitely appeal to the hard core Salsa dancers.  Like many of today’s Cuban musicians his music seamlessly integrates salsa, rap, timba and meringue for an exciting musical adventure.  My favorites on this CD include: "Si no fuera por las mujeres"(#1), “Bueno pero no es para tanto” (#3), Dejame llorar (#5) a rocking Timba jam and “Somos el son de Cuba” (#10).  Suena Cubana is the work of a real master musician.  You will want to hop the next flight to Havana.
Songs:
1- Si no fuera por las mujeres
2- Mi tumbao
3- Bueno pero no es para tanto
4- Hablando como extranjero
5- Déjame llorar
6- Caprichosa
7- Cuentas verdes y amarillas
8- Amor a primera vista
9- Cuatro sones de Adalberto
10- Somos el son de Cuba
11- La cleptómana


Ray Barretto

Live 50th Anniversary In Puerto Rico: 2-CD Set CD (Sony 84744)

Ray Barretto—Ray Barretto—Ray Barretto! Do I need to say anymore. Ray Barretto, an unbelievable congero,  was one of the original performers with the Fania recording label that pioneered the raucous, hard-edged Salsa sound of the 70s. For what may be his last salsa recording, Ray Barretto is reunited with a venerable who’s who of Salsa’s greatest musicians and singers.  This recording includes veteran artists such as Tito Allen, Ray de la Paz, Adalberto Santiago, Yolanda Rivera, Luis Perico Ortiz, Orestes Vilato, Charlie Sepulveda, Elias Lopez, Eric Figueroa, Andy Gonzalez, Tito Nieves, Roberto Roena and Johnny Rodriguez This live concert ( released as a 2 CD set) was recorded at the Tito Puente Theater in Puerto Rico early in 2001  There is nothing like a live performance to capture the energy and passion of Salsa music.
Among the many highlights on this offering are the on the first disc “Fuerza gigante” (#1),“Nadie se salva de la rumba”(#2) with vocals by Yolanda Rivera and Adalberto Santiago and the earthy “Guijira para Vieques(#5).  The second disc includes the classic Barretto numbers “Indestructible”(#2) and  “Guararé”(#5),

Ray Barretto and his friends bring us back to the heart and soul of Salsa. Another memorable and highly recommended musical offering from the master.
Songs: 
Disc 1 
1- Fuerza gigante
2- Quítate la máscara
3- Nadie se salva de la rumba                                                                           4- Amor Artificial - Ray de la Paz 
5- Guajira para Vieques
6- El hijo de Obatalá - Tito Allen y Tito Nieves 
7- Club Mix 50 Anniversary (medley) 
Disc 2 
1- Testigo fui
2- Indestructible
3- Ay no
4- Arrepiéntete
5- Guararé                                                                                                                                     6- La Hipocresía y falsedad
7- Qué viva la música


EDWIN BONILLA

Soy La Candela

Edwin Bonilla is a much sought after percussionist who has been recording and performing for many years before releasing his debut CD “Soy La Candela”.  Edwin Bonilla has clearly been influenced by many music forms including  Jazz, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Indian, Rock, Caribbean, Brazilian, Soca, and Pop genres.  He can be heard on recording by people from Gloria Estefan and Arturo Sandoval to Stevie Wonder and Manhattan Transfer. He is known for his versatility and has mastered a wide array of percussive instruments including on djembe, tambourine, pandeiro, repenique, surdo, and congas. His broad musical experience in ethnic music allows Edwin Bonilla to be fluent on a wide  range of styles and instruments.

“Soy La Candela” is an outstanding showcase for his talents. My favorites include “Donde Estaras” (#1), “Yo Soy La Candela” (#2) and “Cuento Bien”(#3) a really fun and funky Cha Cha Cha.  I hope to see more great stuff from this new talent in the future.

Songs

1.    Donde Estaras Metida                                                                                                     2.    Yo Soy La Candela                                                                                                            3.    Cuento Bien                                                                                                     4.    Caramela                                                                                                     5.    Con Tu Movimiento                                                                                        6.    Con Un Solo Golpe                                                                                          7.    Chevere Que Chevere                                                                                     8.    Recordando Las Descargas


HAILA MOMPRIE

Haila: A Tribute to Celia Cruz                                                                           
CD (BIS 210) Released 2001

From the time you hear the first song on the new album by Haila you know you’re in for a treat.  Haila Mompie was one of the original singers in Bamboleo and later she became the lead vocalist of Azucar Negra, a hot Cuban timba band.  This CD, her first solo effort. is her tribute to legendary salsera Celia Cruz and showcases some of her most well known songs.The CD is produced by the multitalented Isaac Delgado and has renowned musicians such as Jesus Alfonso (of Los Muñequitos Matanzas) on quinto, Mayito Rivera (from Los Van Van) and Paulito FG on vocals with arrangements by Jose Luis Cortes (from NG La Banda).  My favorites are Bemba Colora (#1), Sopita En Botella (#2), Me Voy Contigo (#5) and La Rosa (#6).  A wonderful addition to every salsera/o’s collection. I recently saw her singing as a guest artist in front of Isaac Delgado and she is totally awesome in person.  Incredible power and charisma.

 Songs

1-Bemba Colorá
2-Sopita En Botella
3-
Santa Bárbara
4-El Yerbero Moderno
5-Me Voy Contigo (con Mayito Rivera)
6-La Rosa
7-Usted Abusó
8-Quimbara
9-Ya No Puede Ser
10-Burundanga (Con Coro Infantil "Diminuto" & Lazaro Ros)
11-De Noche
12-Nadie Se Salve De La Rumba (Con Paulo FG)