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SpanishEnglishDiscography - 1996-La cachimba

The Late Period

The early and middle periods can be divided very neatly at the point where Piloto left and Calixto joined, but the dividing line between the middle and late periods in much more vague. There were no major personnel changes for quite a while. NG fans differ sharply in their assessments of the albums which came after "La Bruja". Many bitterly complain that everything starting with "La Cachimba" was markedly inferior. David Calzado , in his interview with timba.com, said "The reason that most of the other great groups like NG La Banda have begun to fade out is because they have remained static". But others, like David Wilson of Wilson and Alroy’s Record Reviews, to whom we’re eternally grateful for his excellent and extensive site, gives 1998’s "Veneno" four stars and says: "I'm not sure this stacks up against their very best records, but it blows away the rest of the island's current product - which is saying something". We’ll try to stay out of the argument and simply say that if you haven’t heard NG La Banda, start with the earlier material, but after you’ve fallen in love with them and find yourself craving more, there are some indisputably great tracks to be found in the recent offerings and we’ll tell you where to find them.

cuban music, musica cubana1996 - La Cachimba - For the hardcore NG fan, this album is worth buying for "La medicina" alone. Listen to the bassline that starts at 1:39. Then a great coro, and then Tony singing "tú eres un enigma, que tengo que descifrar". Calá is at his best on this wonderful track, which takes a shocking left turn at 4:40 with a strange and beautifully harmonized coro which is repeated twice and then gives way to a masterful three minute flute solo which goes all the way to end of the track. It takes its time building to a climax and Tosco plays many great ideas along the way. Check out the melody at 5:47. If for any reason you can’t find "La Bruja" this album also includes the same recording of the indispensable "Picadillo de Soya". The title track, "La cachimba" also has a precedent on "La bruja" in that the main melody is almost identical to "Un Sueño Terrible", but it’s a great arrangement nevertheless and Calá is great on this one as well. On "De la Parte de Afuera" Tosco makes excellent use of his gritty voice to do a folkloric vocal intro. The brass section that follows is beautifully written and has some of the best high lead trumpet playing we’ve heard, and there’s more great singing from Calá.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011, 03:31 AM