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SpanishEnglishDiscography - 1988-No te compliques

Part I: 1988-1992 The Birth of Timba

cuban music, musica cubana1988 - No Te Compliques - Although listed as being by "Grupo Nueva Generación", this is the first album to use (in the lyrics) the name "NG La Banda", and the only one before ex-Irakere members José Munguía and Carlos Averhoff left and were replaced by Elpidio Chappotín and Rolando Pérez Pérez. Tony Calá was joined on vocals by a singer/conguero named Victor Valdés and this was also the debut of Issac Delgado with the group. Three of the six tracks are available on "Best of NG La Banda" but the other three have never been released on CD. Fortunately New York-based Timbaphile César Díaz (now in Spain) graciously provided us with a rare original EGREM cassette, from which this .JPG was scanned.

There's a track on the Milan Records CD "Best of NG" called "No te compliques" but it's misnamed. The real title track [write EGREM ] is quite different from any other NG song. It has strong overtones of Earth, Wind & Fire with a dash of Mezcla thrown in for good measure. The vocals are split between Valdés and Calá, but the inimitable voice of Issac is clearly audible in the coros. It has some great singing and if you're lucky enough to track down a copy check out the tremendous trumpet solo by Juan Munguía at 3:15, which ends with a perfect glissando up to a high F#. The song that "Best of NG" calls "No te compliques" is actually the second track, Se terminó el carnival, a melodic salsa track marred by a ridiculous digital reverb that makes the vocal sound like it's being sung in a very large tin can. Nevertheless, Issac sounds great [source] and even in 1988 his style was already mature. The most Timba-esque section is the funky mambo at 2:55 and there's nice electric piano solo from Peruchín. Conga orientadora, never released on CD, is a Latin Jazz piece, more along the lines of Irakere or NG's predecessor, Nueva Generación, but at 4:31 the coro comes in [write EGREM ] singing "NG La Banda". Perhaps it was used as a theme song in early concerts. This opens things up for Tony Calá, who like Issac, was fully ready for primetime. Of course, by this time Calá had already had a string of hits with Ritmo Oriental so he was hardly a rookie. He also sings what is probably the album's strongest track, Ponle el biberón, previously recorded by Nueva Generación on Abriendo el ciclo and later by NG on the live album En cuerpo y alma. The songwriting is good and the singing is great. In addition to Calá, someone's newborn child was brought in to record a brief guía at 1:07. There's a hip timba-esque bloque at 3:03 and nice solo by El Greco at 3:14. The other horns come in with a Duke Ellington quote near the end of the solo. Ponle el Biberón can be found, (correctly named!), on Best of NG, as can the next track Cha Cortés. The imaginative "Best of NG" liner notes list the composer as Juan Formell, but it's written by Cortés, as confirmed by César's original tape. It's a mellow Latin Jazz head with some fiery horn breaks, and a couple brief coros. Tosco's flute playing is featured throughout. He's a hell of a great flute player - very virtuosic as one would expect, but his tone even more remarkable - very sensual and in tune. The last track Generaciones, arranged by Germán Velazco is another Latin Jazz -fusion track with some scat-singing from Valdés.

For more on this album see The Roots of Timba

Wednesday, 23 March 2011, 03:31 AM