Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Salsa: Manolito, Adalberto Alvarez

It's been a while since we had some salsa from la isla - and with that I mean Cuba. Two quite important timba albums were released recently, let's have a look.

Manolito y Su Trabuco Cuban Salsa Timba Music La Habana Me Llama New Album
Manolito y su Trabuco are still only gaining popularity in Cuba, thanks to an impeccable live reputation. New CD La Habana Me Llama might not capture the essence of the whirling live shows on tape, the production is however crystal clear - I dare to say a salsa record from the island never sounded better. Manolito likes to use unusual instruments for his own style of timba - violins, acoustic guitars, cello, flute - and they especially come out great thanks to the production. Singer Sixto 'El Indio' Lorente puts his heart and soul in the songs, alternating between a painful love for his girl and a melancholic yearning for his capital city, La Habana. The innovative use of intrumentation makes this a quite varied album, and musically Manolito still finds the perfect balance between traditional son and the raw Afro-Cuban energy of timba.

Manolito y su Trabuco - La Habana Me Llama mp3

Adalberto Alvarez Cuban Salsa Timba Son Music Gozando En La Habana New Album
Adalberto Alvarez is already a bit older, so leaning more towards the son sound, but on Gozando La Habana he shows Adalberto y su Son are still one of the most relevant salsa outfits in Cuba. The horns blare furiously and the virtuous piano play is quite promintent on most of the tracks, making clear this album is made for dancing ("Si No Vas A Bailar"). Although rhytmically varied, Adalberto stays close to his trademark slower-timba-with-son-elements, leaving room for descarga-like improvisations ("Aprende Muchacho") and even a true ballad ("Hasta Aqui Llegó Este Amor").

Adalberto Alvarez - Gozando En La Habana mp3

Also, both a helpful commenter and salsa blogger Billy Bryans got me onto Roberto Liñares Brown, an ex member of Adalberto's band that now lives in Canada. After weeks of intensive internet searching and record store browsing, I still haven't managed to listen to even one song, so I have to believe them on their word that his latest record Que No Se Pierde La Esencia is "just fabulous". Read this review over at Descarga to make you mouth-water even more.

Where to get these albums? Check your local latin music store, or fly to Cuba and buy them there! ;) Here in Europe it proved to be almost impossible, so I imagine in the US you'll certainly miss out on this great music...

18 comments:

BellaVida said...

Hello, what a wonderful post. My friends and I were commenting on the lack of new Salsa/Merengue music not just from Cuba but in general. They will be thrilled to check out these tunes.

BellaVida
http://iluvhousemusic.blogspot.com/

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