“This summer really flew by and Autumn is already upon us so it’s time for some new picks and, as you are probably used by now from me, this list contains a little bit for everyone’s taste; You’ll find some classics by Cortijo y su Combo & La Playa Sextet, a cooking mambo by César Concepción and some tracks from the Salsa Dura era by artists like Charlie Palmieri, Sonora Ponceña, Bobby Valentin, Roberto y su Nuevo Montuno to name just a few. For contemporary salsa dura; Colombia esta presente with La 33 with the upbeat La Pantera Mambo and Gambino Pampini with his take on the classic track La Soledad. There’s some Nuyorican Salsa by 8 y Mas from their latest album and Latin jazz by Bobby Matos and John Santos with funny lyrics on the swingin’ mambo track I Don’t Speak Spanish. And…(of course!) I had to include La Verdad, the title track of the latest album by one of my favorite bands; Bio Ritmo (if you ever get the change to see this band live… don’t miss out! They will blow you away). For timba music, both from Cuba and Miami, lend a listening ear to Michel Maza, Maraca and Timbalive, the track Zorra by this last band is guaranteed to send Casino dancers into a frenzy on the dance floor!”
There’s some truly great Salsa music coming forward from this small country, so I thought this is a nice opportunity to put a few musicians from The Netherlands in the spotlight. I have included four tracks in this list by artists that keep things muy caliente on the Dutch Salsa scene. The multi-talented percussionist Gerardo Rosales, originally from Venezuela, has been living in Holland for almost twenty years and has over 15 albums to his name, besides Gerardo has performed and recorded with a list of artist that is way too long to mention. Thru the years Gerardo and his band(s) have been paying homage to the Fania era with albums like Tribute to Fania all Stars, Our Latin Groove and dedicated albums to artists like Mongo Santamaria. The track featured here, entitled Arepas is taken form his last album Salsa Mundial.
The Salsa music by Percussionist Marco Toro (also originally from Venezuela) y su Ensamble is not considered “mainstream”, as this bands strives to revive traditional black music but at the same time also explores new directions by incorporating jazzy descarga themes. I have included the nice slow cooker No me critiques from Marco Toro’s latest album Mi Campana.
Nils Fischer is one of the top percussionists in Europe, touring and recording constantly with groups like Nueva Manteca, the Cubop City Big Band, Drums United and with his own groups Timbazo and CaboCubaJazz. I included a smoking track entitled Ya no tengo Amigos from Nils Fisher y Timbazo that is taken from the Gracias a Joe Cuba album.
Named after a New York club, the Cubop City Big Band was founded in 1995 by Drummer Lucas van Merwijk. Since then Lucas and his band members have been re-inventing all kinds of Latin music, rhythms and styles and for many years the Cubop City Big Band has at the forefront of the international salsa and Latin jazz scenes all over Europe. Last year Lucas van Merwijk himself won the MCN Global Act Award 2010 (awarded to a musician who has been relevant to World Music developments for over a longer period of time). Included here in the list is their great take on the classic Machito track Piniero Tenia Razon.
So The Netherlands is definitely In the House, Baby! I hope you’ll like these picks and I invite you to buy the track list, transfer the tracks into your IPod or MP3 player and your party is all set to begin. Enjoy… “Ahi na ma”
-DJ EricB / Take a listen