I don’t usually devote blog posts to single album releases, but Alma, Tierra y Raices: Para la História, the new release by veteran salsa singer Bobby Cruz, is pretty darn special. The man is 73 and can still kick it like, well, Bobby Cruz. Here’s my take on it…
Now here’s an unexpected gift of salsa gold: a new release by the legendary veteran singer. For those of you who might not know, the team of Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz was one of salsa’s greatest forces from the late ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and even through, well, today if you count their recent, highly successful, reunion concerts. Individually they have produced some pretty good material, some of which has been Christian themed (Cruz has been a minister for many years). However, with Alma, Tierra y Raices, we now have a new secular release, devoted exclusively to the religion of Salsa, that somehow recaptures the vitality and pure salsa heat of their best heyday work like Sonido Bestial. Now that’s something.
Producer and musician Victor “Papo” Ortiz has produced a modern project with firm roots in classic salsa dura of the Fania years. The 73 year old Bobby Cruz still has it. Listen to the audio clips folks, I kid you not — this guy is fabulous. Check out Para Colombia and you will hear the unmistakable, signature voice of Bobby Cruz in full capacity. You’ll be happy to know that Richie Ray shows up for the session: listen to his chops on Modongo de Guimo. Another notable guest is the legendary electric violinist Alfredo de la Fe. Listen to his composition Cuba y Puerto Rico …a salsa-charanga gem. Just listen to the jewel-in-the-crown El Chivo de la Fiesta. A track that, played at the right volume (high) will be sure to fill any dance floor. Spot on.
Ok, folks, don’t let this one slip by. A DJ Alert, and Highly Recommended.
Alma, Tierra y Raices: Para la História
Here’s a video of the title track: