CD Reviews 2016/2015

Senior EditorJosé Calderón, better known as “DJ José," has been playing independently for over twenty years in New York City. Born in Harlem of Cuban parents, he inherited a deep sense of cultural pride which only intensified as he listened to the music he heard consistently at home. Celia Cruz,  La Sonora Matancera, Johnny Pacheco, Orquesta Aragon and Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez are just a few of the artists who influenced his style of playing, which he describes as “a strong mix of Cuban and Puerto Rican conjunto style, saturated with New York flavor.” His pride is evident when spinning.  He states, “I've been given the honor and opportunity to play for a select crowd, and I vow to never disappoint them.”

 

An avid listener of Vicki Sola’s show,  DJ José has played at many well-known venues such as Side Street, Tropicana, Iguana’s, Windows Over Harlem, Leather Lounge, Salsa Wednesdays at Julia DeBurgos,  alternate Fridays at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, selected Wednesday’s at Jimmy Delgado’s Taino Towers, and the annual Quenepa dances in Long Island, emceeing and playing alongside many of the renowned bands of yesterday and today, as well as collaborating with many personalities. Supporting worthy causes has also been an important mission for him. He has joined forces with the Sanchez sisters’ Celebration of Life, and The Latinas Hat Society and their events. He maintains a bi-weekly email trail, informing Latin music aficionados of his own activities as well as those of his many colleagues throughout the city.

 

DJ José is a founding member of Salsa Warriors Radio;  indeed it was his on-air "Que Viva La Música" birthday party at WFDU-FM that inspired the formation of this unique twenty-four hour Internet radio station that features some of the music’s best DJ,s, from the New York metro area and beyond and has received worldwide acclaim.  His show “Boleros Con Soul” can be heard Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. ET and his program “Salsa……Y Algo Más” can be heard Monday evenings at 7 p.m ET on SalsaWarriors.com. 

 

Previously singing briefly with Benny Vargas and Sonido Amante after winning 2nd place in a Boleros contest at the 5th Annual International Latin/Tropical Music Collectors Festival held by Caribbean Cultural Center in 2008, José has been a member of Boricua Legends since May of 2015.
 
Topping it off, he currently belongs to the National Improv League, being one of twenty players comprised of some of the best comedians, actors and poets on the East Coast.  He states "Being a freshman in the art of performance and comedy, and being part of the National Improv League, I am personally willing to take on this new challenge...of course, under the guidance of all the wonderful professionals that surround me. Who knows, maybe I'll add a grain a salt to the mix!" ◊◊◊

"MI PASION"

DJ Carmencita

(2016)

 Review by Senior Editor José Calderón

The end of 2016 is near, and it’s time to review some great new music on the market for the holidays.

 

A word of advice…never underestimate the power of a DJ, because many have unexpected surprises in their abilities to entertain the dancers. Such is the case of personal friends and colleagues DJ Marysol Cerdeira who heads her own show Montuneando Con Marysol on WBAI 99.5 FM alternate Sundays from 3 to 6P.M., DJ Andy Rodriguez who has released two CDs up to date with a constellation of well-known stars as well as his own successful compositions, such as Soy Guarachero, a dance favorite…and I won’t mention what I’m up to, ‘cause you already know…lol!

 

Now the light shines on “Mi Pasion,” a recent release by DJ Carmen Otero Martinez, a respected DJ who heads the most popular nightclubs of the Metropolitan area of Puerto Rico, revered for her passion of the music she plays. Completing a dream she’s had for a number of years, she reunites many of the most popular musicians of our current times, such as pianist Carlos Garcia, Sammy Garcia, Richie Bastar, Diego Gale, singers Rico Walker, Luisito Carrion, Mel Martinez and many more. Eight delightful tunes adorn this recording,including my personal favorite “Suenos,” with the lyrics stating, “We must continue to dream of faith, longing and hope.”

 

What’s particularly unique to this production, aside from its star-studded cast, is that all the proceeds of the sale of this CD are donated to charity, particularly to Down Syndrome (LA FUNDACIÓN PUERTORRIQUEÑA DE SÍNDROME DOWN) and the housing of abused children removed from troubled homes (HOGAR MIS PRIMEROS PASOS). What better way to celebrate the upcoming festivities than to enjoy music while helping an important cause…

 

My hat off to you, Carmencita!

Blessings to all!

 

DJ José Calderón

SEPTEMBER 2016

 

SI POR MI LLEVE by The Boricua Legends

 

 REVIEW  BY SENIOR  EDITOR

JOSÉ  CALDERÓN

Greetings to all!

 

Hopefully, you've enjoyed the summer and the relentless heat that accompanied it (that's what it's all about, right? Lol!)  Well, it's time to write about our music and I want to include something very special to me...

 

I wrote this piece some time ago after being invited to participate in The Boricua Legends Orchestra by leader Pedro "Pocholo" Segundo.  Within 4 months of my inclusion, this new single was being promoted and I took the opportunity to write the review and history of the song. To our fortune, it maintained itself in the top 75 songs for many months in 2015   I hesitated in publishing the review to avoid partiality due to my involvement, but a year and months later, it is a happily requested tune in our presentations and I am thankful to be a part of it.

So, without further hesitation,  here is "Si Por Mi Lleve" with my Boricua Legends family..

 

NEW SINGLE RELEASE INFO...

 

Here is the new recording of the Boricua Legends, under the leadership of Pedro “Pocholo” Segundo, exalted percussionist from Toa Baja, Puerto Rico...

 

SI POR MI LLUEVE, under the executive production of Ernie Acevedo, makes a fitting tribute to the unforgettable Cheo Feliciano, recorded in 1971.  Now, 44 years later and with renewed vigor, with the arrangement by Arturo Ortiz, it is interpreted with the powerful voice of Toby Rivera, and an incredible piano solo by the great Gilberto Colon Jr., hoping to be of your enjoyment pleasure...

 

Special mention to Richard Rivera for his unconditional support of this video montage.

https://youtu.be/G0ENO5qtEs4

 

Saludos a todos!

 

Espero que hayas disfrutado el verano y el calor implacable que la acompañaba (de eso se trata, verdad? Lol!) Bueno, es hora de escribir sobre nuestra música y quiero incluir algo muy especial para mí ...

 

Escribí esta pieza hace algún tiempo después de haber sido invitado a participar en la Orquesta Boricua Legends por su líder, Pedro "Pocholo" Segundo. 4 meses de mi inclusión, se estuvo promoviendo este nuevo sencillo y me dio la oportunidad de escribir la crítica y la historia de la canción . Para nuestra fortuna, se mantuvo en las lista de la 75 canciones mas populares durante muchos meses en el 2015. Dudé en publicar este repaso para evitar la parcialidad de mi participación, pero luego de un año y meses más tarde, es una melodía felizmente solicitada en nuestras presentaciones, y doy gracias por ser parte de ello.

 

Así es que, sin más vacilaciones…aquí esta " Si Por Mi Lleve " con mi familia de Boricua Legends!

 

Aqui esta de estreno…la nueva grabacion de Los Boricua Legends, bajo el liderazgo de Pedro “Pocholo” Segundo, percusionista excelso de Toa Baja, Puerto Rico…

 

SI POR MI LLUEVE, haciendole un merecido tributo al inolvidable Cheo Feliciano, grabado en el año 1971. Ahora, 44 años despues y con nuevos brios, con arreglo de Arturo Ortiz, en la voz potente de Toby Rivera, con un solo de piano del gran Gilberto “Pulpo” Colon, esperando ser el agrado de todos ustedes…

 

Agradecimientos infinitos a Richard Rivera por su ayuda incondicional en el desarollo de este video.

 

https://youtu.be/bUejjra1ZUw

 

MAY 2016

 

 

NEW SPRING REVIEWS  BY  OUR

SENIOR  EDITOR

JOSÉ  CALDERÓN

Review, review, review…it’s time to discuss what is new!

Gather ‘round, friends so dear, musical productions that bring us cheer!

The return of Mr. Afinque, Willie Rosario, is a joyous occasion to celebrate. This veteran of rhythmic sounds, decades of success, and singers launched to stardom, is back to continue claiming his musical throne. With Evidencia, it shows he’s never lost the essence of what is necessary for the dance—he has perfected his approach to a seasoned sound of elements only an expert would apply. At times one wonders why the gap between the recordings released, but it is well worth the wait…trust me on this!

 

The entire album swings, and my highlights include La Raza CalienteDefiende el Amor with the vocals by Kayvan Vega, De Enero A Enero/Nuestra Cancion with the guest crooner Alex D’Castro and an instrumental Latin Jazz tune named Rosario’s Beat. Can you believe this incredible album was musically directed and produced by “El Rey Del Bajo,” Bobby Valentín? Sky’s the limit with these incredible musicians, and I’m so grateful for their lifelong dedication.

It’s probably easier to do your own renovations as we all know our specifications to the ultimate details, right? This is probably the case of the new release by Bobby Valentín, titled Mi Ritmo Es Bueno, a tune he recorded in 1974 for the album Rey Del Bajo, a title that  describes him perfectly, due to his ability to produce such incredible work throughout the years.

 

Without hesitating, he continues to smoothly profess his dominance of the bass through the twelve tunes featured in this outing, featuring standout numbers such as El Amolador,  Yo No Engaño A Las Nenas, a musical remake (in salsa) of his musical colleague Eddie Palmieri, and an ode to Cachao with a booming bass solo in Homenaje a Cachao. No one could even tell some of these are old tunes, such as Mentiras Tuyas, an old Cuban bolero standard included.

 

Can you believe Bobby has reached his seventy-fifth year of life with this recording? Let’s celebrate with…Mi Ritmo Es Bueno!

El Viejo Esta En La Calle…otra vez! (The old man is on the street…again!)

 

Before I get an avalanche of slippers thrown at me during my opening words, this is simply the title of one of El Caballo Negro’s recent recordings. He’s considered El Caballo Negro in comparison to the symbolic beauty and elegance of a galloping black horse, similar to his movements on stage. This new CD titled Tronco Viejo(Old Trunk), is simply referring to dusting off some old tunes with fresh new arrangements. With his recent trip to Cuba,one that he had desired for many decades, I had assumed he’d return recording an album very similar to Jose Alberto “El Canario’s” musical homage with El Septeto Santiaguero, but Ventura always adheres to state of the art techniques, keeping it modern to appeal to the youth of today, as well as to his followers of always. It is his reverence to the beautiful, including salsa and son montunos, and duets with Omara Portuondo, Silvio Rodriguez, Tony Avila and even Gilberto Santa Rosa.

 

Let’s support Johnny Ventura, “El Rey Del Merengue” and his Tronco Viejo! ◊◊◊

DAME  LA  MANO

BY  ROBERTO  REYES

 

 

REVIEWED  BY  OUR

SENIOR  EDITOR

JOSÉ  CALDERÓN

There’s a time and a place for everything…

 

I’ve always wondered about the logic of progression, especially in our music. Many things may occur…appropriate timing, legalities, and other relevant factors that lead up to promoting a song and an artist. Regardless of our current situations, and to my standards, true talent shall prevail.

 

This is the case of this unique single that fell into my hands (not literally…lol) titled DAME LA MANO.  What caught my attention to this tune was the distinctive vocalist, whose raspy voice commands attention as well as the powerful drive the band backing him up brings forth. I decided to do my investigation, and see who is behind this.

 

ROBERTO REYES, a native New Yorker with Puerto Rican-defined rootssays his musical influence and expression began with his evangelical upbringing.  By sheer coincidence of being at the right place at the right time, he demonstrated his singing talent at the “NY Joint” (as he states) called Gonzalez and Gonzalez (where I personally got my first break eight years ago with Benny Vargas and Sonido Amante), and where he was literally “thrown” on stage to sing with this Bronx band. The leader of the band made what eventually would be the instrumental connection to recording this innovative melody. Mr. Efrain “Spider” Colón, who considered by Roberto as the “Sergio George,” alluding to his exceptional musical talents as tentacles, gathering some well-known musicians and making the arrangements. When asked what singing meant to him, he replied, “I just love to sing and affect people.  I believe it is a talent given to share. Not only share but to use.” Also dabbling confidently in the House/Dance circuit, a connection to his roots has been made, and other unfinished products are to be completed in the near future.

 

There’s a time and a place for everything…and the time is now!  Success to Roberto and his musical endeavors! ◊◊◊

HERE ARE FIVE ALBUMS WORTHY OF 

EVALUATION, ACQUISITION AND ENJOYMENT!

 

 

REVIEWED  BY  OUR

SENIOR  EDITOR

JOSÉ  CALDERÓN

Orquesta Mulenze Y Seguimos  CD (MGK/Select-O-Hits 710553), Released 2015

 

After over thirty years of success in Puerto Rico, leading his band to international success, and more than fifteen albums launching venerated voices such as those of Pedro Brull and Raphy Andino, we have a new addition to the roster. An all-star cast with the likes of Luisito Carrion, Victor Manuelle, Charlie Sierra and more, “Y Seguimos” simply states that Edwin Morales pushes full speed ahead with Mulenze and that uncanny rhythm that                                                    defines their household name. Get it quickly!

The Best Of Nacho Sanabria Y Su Orquesta  Import CD (Rareza Music 140006), Released 2016

 

As you know, I’m a sucker for that rich conjunto sound, and Nacho Sanabria is the complete embodiment of this. I can hear those albums he recorded in the 70’s and the pulsating rhythm does not tire to listen or dance to. Here is a compilation of some of his earlier pieces with some re-recordings of his own classics, as well one or two live presentations. Highly recommended!

Wito Colón Historia Nueva  CD (WJ Records 535898), Released 2015

 

Fairly new to soloing, but a known musical figure (Sonora Ponceña, Los Bravos De La Costa, La Terrifica…Wito’s secomd album is “Historia Nueva” (new story), where he musically excels and demonstrates the strength of his vocal presence. Many original tunes, a re-recording of a classic, and a killer duet with Yolanda Rivera and Luigi Texidor, this album is one of the must-haves of the year!

 

A return to basics, and these recordings from the late 70’s and early 80’s are definitely worthy of collecting. From the remembered defunct label VELVET, this definitely marked the developmental strength of Venezuela in the salsa genre, with the participation of a few respected Puerto Rican singers, such as Andy Montañez, Tito Gomez, and Pellin Rodriguez. These recordings and compilations of great tunes from Orquesta La Amistad, La Salsa Mayor, Naty & su Orquesta & La Dimension Latina provided years of entertainment and represented South                                         America magnificently.

Raphy Leavitt Y Orquesta La Selecta  Hasta Siempre!  CD (Rl Records/Select-O-Hit 710563), Released 2015

 

What better way to honor Raphy Leavitt, this incredible bandleader of La Selecta, who passed away at age 66 this past August 2015, than with his last musical recording, “Para Siempre.”

A composer of many legendary hits, such as “Herido,” “Jibaro Soy,” and “Payaso,” he always highlighted the social aspects of his native Puerto Rico with positivity through his music. His iconic tune, “La Cuna Blanca,” resulted from a van accident Leavitt experienced with his band in 1972, killing his trumpeter and leaving Raphy in a coma. With his near death experience, the inspiration of this song came forth, used for honoring at funerals for many on the island and abroad. ◊◊◊

SIGUE CAMINANDO

BY JEAN PAUL TAMAYO

 

 

REVIEWED  BY  OUR

SENIOR  EDITOR

JOSÉ  CALDERÓN

“Sigue Caminando” is a breakthrough of the new bridged with the classic…

In our current day and age, what the musical aficionados search for is a connection of our musical roots together with the evolution of technology, sung by a representation of the upcoming youth with a remembrance of our classics.

 

Ladies and gents…this single has all these elements!

 

Jean Paul Tamayo, a multi-faceted songster, is truly no newcomer to the scene. A Parisian-born chap with Colombian roots, he created his own band with the mission of conquering the world, beginning in Europe and collaborating with legendary names such as Camilo Azuquita and Maelo Ruiz, amongst others. With the preparation of a completed first full recording coming up in 2016, Tamayo will take the world by storm with a mixture of the classics, with swinging up-tempo numbers, refreshingly new arrangements and original compositions, but never stopping to reflect and evoke the legends that have laid the building blocks in our music. When I asked him what is the composition of your upcoming recording, he stated, “It’s mostly salsa dura, but a few ‘romantica’, with good swing and good arrangements.” I honestly can’t wait for the finished product!

 

He has the honor of teaming up with legendary angel-voiced crooner, Tito Allen, known worldly for his Alegre (Fania) solo outings and unforgettable collaborations with Louie Ramirez, Tipica 73, and Ray Barretto, amongst his extensive repertoire, to create an uniquely flowing harmony where each give props to their mutual respect and admiration while releasing a call-and-response, with their abilities to inspire, this tune will definitely invite the dancers onto the floor and into the groove! Proof of this concept was evident in his release party presentation in La Topa Tolondra in Cali, Colombia this past November, featuring his new single recording, to be launched and distributed worldwide through digital stores. Plans on releasing a full album is set for 2016.

 

Await great things from this musical unity, which will make the dancers “seguir caminando”! In fact, this upcoming Wednesday, February 10th will be the worldwide release and publication of this video on social media. 

Check it out at www.youtube.com/tamayojp . Yours truly greatly recommends it!

Track Title:                          Sigue Caminando

Author:                                 Elvin Vivencias

Arrangements:                    Oscar Cordero

Vocalist(s):                          Jean Paul Tamayo featuring Tito Allen

Chorus:                                Elvis Vivencias, Oscar Cordero

Piano:                                   Irving Manuel

Bass:                                    Samuel Ruiz

Percussion:                         Johnny Gomez

Trombone:                           Domingo Pagliuca

Trumpets:                            Oscar “Chucky” Cordero     

 

Vocals recorded at Tiffany Records, 1708 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10029

Music recorded at Sound Music Studio, Madrid

A 2015 release…

SOME  CLASSICS

RE-RECORDED IN 2015

 

 

REVIEWED  BY  OUR

SENIOR  EDITOR

JOSÉ  CALDERÓN

With the mention of a few recent recordings, I’d like to address a subject matter many can misinterpret, which is the rerecording of well-known songs.

 

There are “classics” revered by many across the hemisphere we can relate to a specific artist, which may be the source of their popularity, catapulting them to longevity even after their lifetimes. Some would say many of these songs could never be interpreted any better than the artists who exposed them worldly, possibly falling short to their grand status, and even desecrating the celebrity category it has been given. But this is far from the truth…

 

In many cases, a substantial amount of classics we hold in the highest regard have been recorded prior to their public  acclaim. For example, La Sonora Matancera fulfills the category of one of the most recorded musical institutions of Latin America. Songs such as “Las Muchachas” (recorded by Johnny Pacheco and Hector Casanova), “Guaguanco No. 3” (covered by Yolanda Rivera and La Terrifica), “Yambu Pa’ Gozar” (interpreted by Ismael Miranda and Orquesta Harlow) are a few from the extensive catalogue rediscovered by emerging artists of the era.  Other excellent examples are Celia Cruz rerecording her previous landmark recordings, such as “Yerbero Moderno,” “ Bonco,” “Danza del Cocoye,”  and  “Cao Cao Mani Picao,” to name a few, as well as her interpretation of “La Rueda” by Frankie Ruiz y La Solucion and “Me Llevaron La Cartera,” popularized in the 70’s by Junior Gonzalez and Larry Harlow.

 

With that said, here are a few of the excellent releases of 2015 with the similar concept:

An honorable mention to the continuance of the flame…! Cita Rodriguez, daughter of the legendary Fania crooner Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez, honors Graciela Perez exuberantly, adding her own flare of sass and pizzazz to these renowned tunes. With what seems to be remnants of the Mambo Legends Orchestra backing her up, her voice fires up a sensual flame to “Ay, José / Esto Es Lo Ultimo (Si Si No No)” and “La Botanica,” as well as great boleros such as “Cuando Te Fuiste De Mi.” Kudos to the Caribbean Cultural Center for commissioning such an extravaganza! A trip to the past with today’s experience…a journey worth taking!

 .…And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,…”

Reminded of our national anthem, this is the mental imagery that occurs when listening to the cavalcading resonance of Doug Beavers’ TITANES DEL TROMBON from beginning to end. Supporting my previously mentioned concept, the rerecording of “Boranda” does extreme justice in this new and improved descarga-extended format. You gotta’ hear it if you haven’t already!

 

I can tell you…a tsunami is nothing compared to the torrential force to which this music is coming from! It showers instrumentation with precision and resonance! Luis Gonazalez and his Orquesta bring about excitement and the desire to dance with this new recording, with original songs and rhythmic classics to die for…particularly Justo Betancourt’s “Ella Esta En Otra Rumba” and Roena’s “Vamos Hablame Ahora”…get it!

Talk about returning to your roots…! Jose Alberto “El Canario” not only honors el son as his tropical origins of Dominican Republic do so well, he embarks on a voyage to Cuba to record with El Septeto Santiaguero as well as with many other surprise guests. In no way a snoozer, but rather a pleaser, and what better way to inaugurate the relations with the land of rum and tobacco than with the sounds of the guajiro (mountain man-farmer) with the engulfing son-montuno…Too many to select, but “Rita La Caimana” and “Hay Un Run Run” bring to mind the legendary duo Los Compadres. Highly Recommended!

Even Noel Quintana “Mr. Conga” (R), an ex New York transplant, has been working diligently with his “Latin Crew” to finally release a classic single, “Sonaremos El Tambor”, covered by the likings of Sonora Ponceña and Tipica ’73 to name a few. A band leader, percussionist, educator, and even a radio show host on his resume, he finds time to release this classic, joining forces with well-known crooner Frankie Morales (L), with more singles to arrive on the scene in months to come…

 

Please support these hard-working artists with the purchase of their recent releases in the format of your choice!  ◊ ◊ ◊

 

 

UNA NUEVA HISTORIA

 

BY CHARLIE APONTE

(2015)

 

 

REVIEW BY

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

JOSÉ CALDERÓN

There is “Una Nueva Historia” (a new story)…

 

When the history of music is written, this gentleman’s name must be included and revered. Charlie Aponte became a strong force of “La Universidad de La Salsa” (The Salsa University) …El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico, replacing legendary singer Pellin Rodriguez in 1972, when the latter embarked on a solo career after ten years with the musical organization. Charlie became an important staple and relentless force with EGC, leaving a history of over thirty albums, plus many memorable tunes known worldwide.

 

After forty-one years of uninterrupted work with the unit, due to personal reasons, Aponte decided to leave EGC. The world of music was concerned; no one knew what would become of our admired singer after over four decades of service, nor what to expect. But, here is the product, one that definitely will not disappoint…

 

Under the tutelage of producer Sergio George, famed for his multiple collaborations throughout these last three decades, Charlie soars with innovative rhythms and shows his dynamic and refreshing style, without losing a beat. Ten songs play through leaving you only the desire for more, and although we are used to hearing him with a more traditional sound, this new production has the potential to enlarge his fan base by appealing to a much broader spectrum. Highlights on this album include the first promotional single “Para Festejar,” an ode encouraging the world to have fun despite adversity, reminiscent of “La Vida Es Un Carnaval,” Celia Cruz’s transcend-ental song also produced by George. “Asi Es Puerto Rico” is a reminder to his island that although he left the University, this graduate utilizes all that he acquired through-out those years, as well as “Gracias Salsero,” where he shows profound appreciation to all the dancers and music collectors worldwide. Let’s not forget to note the partici-pation of top names such as Charlie Sierra, Sammy Garcia, Jimmie Morales, Johnny Rivera, Ramon Rodriguez, and Hector “Pichie” Perez to name a few…

 

This story has a happy ending—our faith in Charlie Aponte will always remain! ◊◊◊

 

 

 

 

 

¡AQUÍ LLEGÓ!


BY PETE PERIGÑON

(2015)


 

REVIEW BY

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

JOSÉ CALDERÓN

 

There is a Spanish proverb that states, “De tal palo, tal astilla,” which translated means, "A chip off the old block."  This expression is commonly used in Latin America to say that a son or daughter behaves or does something similar to his or her father, therefore it's easy to tell that they are related, as well as when the child has the same physical aspects as aptitudes and qualities.

 

This obviously is the case of Pete Perigñon, son of Don Perigñon, successful leader of La Puertorriqueña.  Following a very similar path, Pete plays the traditional music of the great legends as well as the newer tunes worthy of covering. To continue on the right foot, using age to his advantage, playing cover tunes with swing works so well for him, and for his eager audience as well.  His first promotional single, LOS PASOS DE MI PADRE, written by Angel Santos and sung by Juan Pablo Diaz, honors the hard efforts of his father, complete with a pulsating , suave dance rhythm.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWhgxLRwrgk

 

A treat is in store for you…Pete has daringly recorded TENGO QUE CONFORMARME, a tune recorded in recent years by the infamous MAMBO LEGENDS ORCHESTRA (formerly the Tito Puente Orchestra) with arrangements and blessings by the stellar Sonny Bravo, knowing quite well that Pete is one of the many of this era that will continue lighting the path for our music and honoring our unforgettable legends. Here’s a perfect example of this artistry in motion:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyt5vgs8zaQ

 

Topping this brilliance are Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Luisito Carrion, Jerry Rivas and Victor Manuelle, all participating in making this musical dream a reality, which will available to purchase towards the end of February.

 

With all seeming dim at certain moments in terms of our music’s future, there is a light at the end of the tunnel…and this acorn, luckily, didn’t fall far from the tree! 

 

REVIEWS BY

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

JOSÉ CALDERÓN

 

OMG…It’s 2015!  Have I been resting on my laurels?  LOL, absolutely not!  I’ve been working (as I’m sure many of you are) since the first day of the year, so this may explain my silence. But I’m here now, and I’ll begin the year with suggesting five of the most recent releases I can assure are worthy of purchasing and enjoying…!

This first album done by Alfredito “Sabor” Linares (born on January 27, 1945)—in way over a decade—is a true treat!  I’ve always admired the interpretations of salsa from Central and South America, with their unique arrangements, making their recordings sound so different and authentic. Linares was always at the vanguard of his era in Peru, moving to Colombia in the 70’s, and becoming a cult figure throughout the world.

 

Produced by Edwin Gonzáles aka “DJ Gonzo,” a well-known promoter of salsa in Houston, Texas, and utilizing the vocals of William Viafara (La Mision Orquesta) and Danny Gómez, he ressurects some great classics of other legends as well as his own compositions.  Tunes such as “Mi Bomba Sono” (of Celia Cruz and La Sonora Matancera fame) have a fresh arrangement that just bursts into musical flames, as well as Joseito Mateo’s popular tune, “Mi Hijo Y Yo.” You’ll remember his greatest hit “Tihuanaco” recorded on “Alfredito Linares y su Salsa All Stars" in 1972.  Well, he’s recorded a brand new version of it.

 

Enough…enough!  I’m stopping the press, and I’m running home to play it!

I am so impressed, and so will you be with this new musical concept, directly from “The Island of Enchantment”.

 

In my last trip to Puerto Rico in March 2014, throughout the island I listened to this music that I thought over and over again was from Cuba, with its has a timba-fusion sound and heavily-urbanized vocalist.  I thought to myself…this must be Los Van Van or Manolito Simonet.  But I was wrong.

 

This new recording from 2013 is making a lot of noise, in a positive, influential way, all over the island and beyond.  Under the tutelage of Francisco Rosado aka “Pirulo,” who has inherited this musical prowess from his father and uncles who played the 70’s heyday, this album reminds me of that era, with its Cuban salsa influences of improvisation and arrangements.

 

The tunes that stand out on this great recording are “Como Mi Salsa Ninguna,”  “Loco Pero Feliz,” and “Ya Llego,” amongst all of these colorfully flavorful selections.  Special thanks to Emma Pacheco, who “schooled” me on this incredible release!

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                     Finally, reissued on CD!!!

This outing by percussionist Ralphy Santi (Mr. Ansias) was released in 1983 with the following cover:

I’m a lover of the conjunto sound…the rich and authentic instrumentation which is as bona fide as tobacco and home-roasted coffee from tropical countries.  Ralphy has always pulled through since the 70’s, even up to his most recent 2012 recording, where he joined forces with many great singers.

 

Highlights include “Tumba El Cuento,”  “Imoye,” and “Nunca,” with the unforgettable Louie Ramírez on piano, Ray Martinez on bass, and Jorge Maldonado and Ray De La Paz on chorus.

 

I love it!!!

Wow…yes, a bolero album! Many of you may be very surprised to see a review of a bolero album on the “Salsa” page.  Well, doing my online show “BOLEROS CON SOUL” on www.salsawarriors.com every Sunday morning from 8-10 A.M. brings to light many of our great salsa singers belting out this revered genre as well as honoring classic interpretations.  Also, the underlying factor is the musician accompanying our seasoned crooner, Danny Rivera, on this incredible album…NELSON GONZÁLEZ!  González is known for his outstanding “tres playing” on albums such as Ismael Miranda’s Orquesta Revelación (“Asi Se Compone Un Son”), Típica ’73, his own debut album (“Mary Juana”—not  the drug…lol) and has made  many other musical contributions.  The underlying son montuno tone is heavily accentuated all throughout the album as well.

 

An album of classics with an “unplugged” sound, as how I hear it.  Danny makes everything so beautiful, and his voice is impeccable.  The only misfortune is the output of its promotion,  left to public presentation in concert venues.  I hope you can acquire this incredible recording, and I will play excerpts as time progresses. 

Continuing with this well-regarded musical variety is the new release of “El Caballero De La Salsa,” who carries the reigning title of “king of sold-out presentations.”  Not a stranger of interchanging, the fact that the title “Necesito Un Bolero” can demonstrate his aptitude of variety and ease of adaptation.  I also agree that we “need” this music in between the frenzy and excitement of pulsating rhythms, a trend that seems to be dying out or even nonexistent with our younger generations.

 

There are duets with Marco Antonio Solis, Lena Burke, Natalia Lafourcade and Eugenia Leon, featuring a lot of storytelling behind many of the songs. Honestly, what I would give to see this performed live on stage, because it possesses such incredibly strong potential. ◊◊◊ 

Well, that’s it, guys! …and remember, I also have my show SALSA Y ALGO MAS on Mondays from 7-9 P.M., on SALSA WARRIORS RADIO!

 

Take care!

 

DJ José Calderón

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