As if the summer hasn’t been hot enough, the music that we’re listing below will turn up its sizzle even more. It’s the new Salsa, Cuban Son, and Bachata that landed on our desk during July and August, and we are sure that adding them to your playlists and trying them on the dance floor will put a perfect bow on your summer season. Enjoy!
SALSA AND CUBAN SON ALBUMS
The Cuban Golden Club – PREGONES DORADOS
This is fabulous original Cuban Son written by Carlos Sanabia, with arrangements by David Alfaro, showcasing the voices of a number of Cuban soneros that continue to keep the traditions of this musical genre. Some of the singers are Haila Mompie, Carlos Calunga, Felix Baloy (Afro Cuban All Stars), Mario “Mayito” Rivera (Los Van Van), Pedrito Calvo (Los Van Van), Pedro Lugo “El Nene,” Rolando Montero “Musulungo,” and Tiburo Morales. Respected musicians like Maraca and Jesus Diaz also participated in this work. Ready for your playlists and for the dance floor are songs like “Zan Zan Dunga,” and “Dejala Que Baile.” Click here to listen and purchase on Amazon.com.
The Cuban Golden Club – HISTORIAS SONERAS
Yes. It’s the same group that we talked about above, this time presenting two volumes of HISTORIAS SONERAS, each with nine songs. What can we say, The Cuban Golden Club has been busy! Particularly Carlos Sanabia, the composer of all the songs that are part of this release. Excellent for the dance floor? Give a listen to “En la Fiesta del Sorullo,” “La Rumba de la Merced” (a guaguanco in the voice of Mayito Rivera), “Canto Montuno,” and “No Corto Caña Quema!” from Volume 1. Click here to listen to Volume 1; and here to listen to Volume 2 on Amazon.com.
Los Hermanos Salazar y la Charanga Cubanisima – YO SOY DE CUBA
This is a debut album for siblings Angel and Anaisa Salazar who, along with their Charanga Cubanisima, recorded it both in Cuba and in Germany for Jose Alberto El Canario’s recording label- Los Canarios Music. Angel and Anaisa come from a musical family important to the Charanga genre. In the sixties, the “Hermanos Salazar” were Angel, Ramon, and Rafael Salazar Reyes, founders of Orquesta Tipica Inspiracion. From their native San Luis (a town not far from the better known Santiago de Cuba) have come out many Charanga bands over the decades, as well as respected musicians like Ibrahim Ferrer and Candido Fabre. The latter participated in this release with “Van Van No Es Cualquiera,” a song that shows admiration for the famous band “Los Van Van” and for its founder Juan Formell. The album also pays homage to the music of Rudy Calzado and Miguel Matamoros, and to the voice of Olga Guillot with the bolero “Oye,” interpreted beautifully by Anaisa. This new team of “Hermanos Salazar” brings the tradition of Charanga to the modern listener, to a new generation of Cubans and Cuban music lovers that will appreciate authentic sounds from the island. Click here to listen and purchase this album on Amazon.com.
Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra – DIALECTICA
Any The Cure fans out there? You’re going to love how percussionist Gianni Mano arranged The Cure’s “Love Song” for this second Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra (WSO) album. WSO has developed a reputation for rearranging classic jazz, R&B, rock, and soul numbers and giving them a tropical touch. DIALECTICA is no exception. Another must-listen is “Hold On,” original of the Alabama Shakers, here in the voice of Argentinean Solange Prat. For those of you who speak only English, here’s an album with lyrics that you will understand. Click here to listen and purchase this album on Amazon.com.
Milton Salcedo – SWING 80
80s music anybody? Except this time all of it from the Caribbean! Colombian Milton Salcedo wanted to bring back the greatest Salsa of the 80s, modernized and performed by the best contemporary voices of the genre, and now he has done it in SWING 80. This release was created in 63 studios around the world, involved about 100 musicians, and boasts the voices of well-known artists like Gilberto Santa Rosa, Luis Enrique, and Amaury Gutierrez. If you are a salsero, we promise you that you will recognize and love every song in this release. The music is not new, but then again… it kinda is. Click here to listen and purchase on Amazon.com.
Aguanko – PATTERN RECOGNITION
This is the fourth album by Mexican percussionist (residing in the U.S.) Alberto Nacif. It’s an instrumental release, primarily Latin Jazz, yet quite danceable. “Re-Vision” for example, sounds to us like a perfect song for a dance competition, since performers like to alternate from the Mambo to the Cha-Cha rhythm, just as this song does. “Los Niños” is a nice danzon, which we not often see in new releases, and “Mojo Mohito” is another melodious Cha-Cha. Click here to listen and purchase on Amazon.com.
Gerard Naulet – VIAJE A LA AMISTAD
VIAJE A LA AMISTAD is a celebration of friendship between French pianist Gerard Naulet, Cuban flutist Orlando Valle “Maraca,” and Venezuelan percussionist Orlando Poleo. It is primarily Latin Jazz and instrumental; but also highly danceable. If you like your Cha-Cha step, then listen to Maraca’s “Guajirando,” which opens the album; Poleo’s “Arriba Mi Montuno,” (not a new song but it has received a new arrangement); and “Decidete,” which will bring to mind Hector Lavoe’s “Dejala Que Siga Andando,” here turned into a Cha-Cha. Click here to listen and purchase the album on Amazon.com.
Santy Montega and Mañambo – “Te extraño”
This is a single coming from Zaragoza, Spain. Composer and DJ Santy Ortega, with the band Mañambo, presents “Te Extraño” [I Miss You], a first song that will eventually be part of Mañambo’s debut album. The name of the band, Mañambo, is the result of combining “Maña” and “Mambo,” with “Maña” being what the people of Zaragoza are usually called. Click here to listen and purchase on Amazon.com.
Malo Malo – “Acuarela”
“Acuarela” is the brainchild of Australian musician Danny G. Felix, performed in the voices of Jeimy Castillo and Lida Villamarin. It starts as a romantic Salsa, and then, around minute 2:30, it explodes with a delicious Cuban sound. “Acuarela,” along with Malo Malo’s prior songs “Derecho” y “Tombola,” will soon become the group’s debut album. Meanwhile, click here to listen and purchase on CDBaby.com.
Roosevelt Cordova – “Un Nuevo Cantante,” “Lo Logre,” “Ejemplo de Valentia”
We’ve known Roosevelt Cordova as the lead singer of various Salsa bands in Los Angeles since at least 2005, when he was part of the Johnny Polanco y su Conjunto Amistad band. Ever since, he has performed with the likes of Conjunto Oye and the Echo Park Project and has often been part of supporting bands behind renowned guest performers like Frankie Vasquez, Herman Olivera, and Ray de la Paz. This year, Cordoba, self-entitled “El President de la Salsa” because of his first name (get it… Roosevelt…like Theodore…and Franklin…) has released three singles on CDBaby.com – “Un Nuevo Cantante” (A New Singer), “Lo Logre,” (I Made It), and the bolero “Ejemplo de Valentia,” (Example of Courage). The songs are of his penmanship, with arrangements by Jose Madera, Oscar Hernandez, and Arturo Solar, respectively. Click the links to enjoy and purchase.
Mercy Group – “Que Hablen”
Mercy Group is a Dominican duo – Junior y Mercy – that currently resides in New York. Their song “Que Hablen” (Let Them Talk) speaks of a relationship that pays no attention to the opinions of others, but concentrates instead in more important matters. We think you’ll enjoy its rhythm on the dance floor. Listen and purchase on Amazon.com.
Daniel Santacruz – “Rapida y Furiosa”
A video for the song “Rapida y Furiosa” (yes, you guessed it… Fast and Furious… but here as in a girl being so) just came out on August 10, 2018. It was filmed in the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, featuring Santacruz and model Sthephany Lucero between cars and sights that will undoubtedly remind you of the blockbuster. “Rapida y Furiosa” experiments with R&B fusions and other modern rhythms, and it’s part of the latest Santacruz release. Click here to watch the video on YouTube.com.
CUMBIA URBANA SINGLE
Gustavo Quintero, featuring Oscar D’Leon – “La Cadenita”
Venezuelan Gustavo Quintero, aka Gustavo El Valet, is performing “La Cadenita” as a tribute to his father, Willy Quintero, the renowned leader of the Venezuelan band Los Melodicos. It’s likely that we all have heard a version of this song at one point or another, but Quintero here modernizes it and features the fabulous Oscar D’Leon as part of it, giving us an opportunity to see “el león de la Salsa” in a music genre that is not his usual. The word out there is that Quintero is planning a performance in Los Angeles. We’ll keep an eye on it and let you know once we know more, so that those of you in L.A. can check him out live. For now, click here to watch “La Cadenita” on YouTube.com.
So, what do you think? Good stuff right? It boggles our minds when we hear that “there’s no new Salsa out there” and that “our genres are dying.” Humbug! La Salsa vive! It’s alive, and our talented musicians continue to produce fantastic new songs for us to enjoy and dance to. Burn the rest of your summer on the dance floor with these fantastic new tunes. We’ll be back at the end of September with more music for the fall season.