The grande dame of Buena Vista Social Club fame, Omara Portuondo brings a buoyant and sophisticated touch to the classic flute and strings charanga orchestra of bygone 1950s Cuba on ‘El Madrugador’, a guajiracha-cha-cha about the beautiful Cuban countryside. Latin Giants Of Jazz feature an all-star line-up from members of the former Tito Puente Orchestra and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra and on ‘Miedo Al Cha Cha Chá’ they revisit a seminal recording from the classic NYC Latin big-band era of the 1940s and 1950s.
Previously with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Willy Torres and his NYC Salsa Project produced the killer track ‘Baila Con Sabor’ with renowned DJ Henry Knowles. Willy’s distinctive voice also features on the 3D Ritmo De Vida track ‘Oyelo’, along with veteran sonero Herman Olivera. With a little Cuban-style timba in it (that’s Ricky González on piano, Chembo Corniel and Chino Nuñez on percussion) this cut has some interesting trap drumming and guitar.
Today’s salsa dancers crave the occasional boogaloo, and Fruko Y Sus Tesos oblige us here with a fantastic example of a pumped-up Colombian version on ‘Sale El Boogaloo’. A Fruko Y Sus Tesos veteran, when Joe Arroyo broke out on his own, he created a whole new universe of Afro-tropical spice. His track here picks up the pace towards the end, leading the dancer into hotter territory, and is a great example of infectious Colombian salsa at its best.
Bronx veteran pianist Wayne Gorbea and his rock-steady Salsa Picante crew are the perfect salsa dance orchestra for all levels of dancers. The prominent clave and guiro groove on ‘Ven Baila Conmigo’ help you lock step and the punchy brass help you lift your feet. Featuring piano maestro Leonel ‘Papo’ Ortega and tresguitar player Junior Rivera, Cubanoson inject enough swing and sabor típico (typical flavour) into ‘La Fiesta’ to keep things exciting all night long.
Steeped in spicy and infectious rhythms, The Rough Guide To Salsa Dance is an innovative package including an instructional DVD alongside the talents of artists such as salsa dura mavericks Bio Ritmo and La Excelencia andthe phenomenal pianist Alex Wilsonon the music CD.