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Azucar Negra - Album Review for Andar Andando

CD Review:  Andar andando by Leonel Limonta & Azúcar Negra
(Bis Music 2000)
Review by Carlos Suárez, all rights reserved

With the release of “Andar Andando”, Azucar Negra has produced a timba classic for the new millennium. The dynamic duo of writer-arranger, Leonel Limonta and vocalist Haila Mompie (both founders of another powerhouse group, Bamboleo), have come up with a delicious blend of rhythms that will grab hold of both dancer and listener alike.

The title track, “Andar Andando” grooves along nicely, featuring a smooth, cool arrangement up until the soneos by Mompie, which come in at the end, making the song reach a steaming climax. Another killer tune on the record, “Se acabo la rabia” is powered by great choruses, funky horn lines and again shows Haila’s exciting vocal command. Newcomer, Alexander Lara shows off his skills on a humdinger of a cut, “Tiralo pa’l agua”. This is a slammin’ timba gem, comparable to anything out on the street right now by the giants of the genre. This song mixes intense vocals and catchy-as-hell choruses with great piano riffs, slinky horns and driving basslines. This cut will make you bump and grind to the “tembleque” on the dance floor! Lara gets down and dirty again with a super-confident bravado vocal on “Eres como yo”, another tour-de-force scorcher. This track jumps at you with a guaguanco opening that gathers full strength with young pianoman deluxe, Aismar Simon’s rocking, sweaty tumbaos and the horns shooting short, biting blasts of pure ecstacy (even quoting pello el afrokan’s “mozambique” in the process!!!! ). The album comes to a blazing close with a better-than-the –original, Bamboleo staple, “No me parezco a nadie”. This version is a modern standard, containing all the ingredients that make timba one of the most exciting dance musics in the world today. Get a dose of funky black sugar magic and get rid of your musical woes forever!

Michelle White - Wednesday, 28 May 2014, 05:16 AM