Indice - Table of contents

New Stuff[hide]

Staff: Michael Lazarus
Musicos: Edmundo "Mundo" Pina
Staff: Kevin Moore
Escuela: Cuba In Mexico
Reportes: From The St... : Cubadisco 2...
Staff: Bill Tilford
Grupos: Maykel Blanco y ... : Músicos - Members
Grupos: Orquesta Revé : Músicos
Grupos: Pupy y los que S... : Músicos
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2022 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2022 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2022 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2022 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2022 San Jose Jazz Su...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2022 San Jose Jazz Su...

Photos of the Day [hide]

cuban music, musica cubana cuban music, musica cubana cuban music, musica cubana cuban music, musica cubana

Discography - Recoge y vete

2006 - Recoge y vete (Envidia 7156)

cuban music, musica cubana Maykel Blanco y Su Salsa Mayor are all about making you dance and their début album proves that they mean  business. The first line of the opening song sums it up: "Ven, que quiero darte lo mejor de mí y conquistar toda tu alma. Que cantes, que bailes, que goces conmigo hasta mañana".  Recoge y vete is packed with hits from start to finish, and it is a dancer's dream. Of the eleven songs on the CD, ten will fill the dance floor. Only the last song on the CD, which is  timba romantica, is unlikely to throw dancers into a frenzy.

While some timba groups today seem to be doubting their own music and trying to reach audiences by looking outside the Cuban musical tradition, performing timbaton or songs with a more pan-Caribbean sound, with the popularity of  Recoge y vete, Salsa Mayor has proved that audiences are still hungry for 100% classic Cuban timba.

With the exception of Pablo Milanes' Años, the compositions and arrangements are all by Maykel and feature a charanga format with violin and flute as well as trombone and trumpet. Both Esto está and Recoge y vete include great flute solos. Maykel's appreciation of traditional Cuban music is reflected in his arrangements. But being a product of the timba generation and having a background as a percussionist before switching to piano, the songs are packed with hot bloques, funky bass, played by Arnaldo Jiménez, and tumbaos that hook the listener.

Maykel taught himself to play piano "out of necessity", and the influences of Pupy can be heard in Maykel's use of "contrary motion" in his tumbaos, while some of the mambos and the rhythms of the coros bring to mind Los Van Van. However, I would never confuse Salsa Mayor with either of the aforementioned groups.

Because the CD has so many great dance songs, it's hard to pick any favorites, but I will mention a few. The first song, Esto está , is brilliant. It captures the dancer instantly and sets the tone for the album, laying down a strong groove with a catchy melody. The song has brought the expression "esto está pa' comer y pa' llevar" back into vogue and has been a huge hit for the band both in Cuba and Europe. Click here to see the new video for Esto está .

The title track, Recoge y vete , is about son and is, in fact, excellent for dancing either son or casino. That being said, it is simultaneously serious timba, with all the requisite breaks and gear changes for getting your despelote on and even a false ending to which the appropriate response is Eh, ¿se acabó?. The video is an amusing trip through time with the singers dressed to represent the various eras from the golden era of son to the psychedelic 70s to today.

Next Salsa Mayor ups the tempo with another hot dance track, Qué tengo , which increases the pace to about 108 BPM, mucho cuída'o, and features a hot timbal solo. Click here to see a video of Qué tengo .

Other songs that have been favorites of the DJs are Brujería , Cambia tu faceta and Lo bello por dentro , a non-politically correct song about a girl with a great body but an ugly face: "Tú tienes cuerpo bonito pero la cara es pantosa". Well, what can I say? Timberos have never been known for their sensitivity.

Cimarrón is interesting because it starts with a batá-jazz feeling for the first 55 seconds before kicking into dance mode. For those who aren't familiar with thje historical reference, cimarrón was a name used for runaway slaves.

Songs in a more romantic vein are: Años, Si quieres, quiéreme and Si yo pudiera . The latter is a full-fledged timba romantica. Except for the short guitar intro it is still quite danceable at about 96 BPM, but still it feels soft, something a DJ will play at the end of the night to help the dancers gently come down from their high. The lyrics are very sweet and towards the end of the song a chorus of children sings the coro, which really completes the "sweet" feeling.

With this album Maykel Blanco has stepped firmly into the territory of serious timba. Recoge y vete is a supercharged dance album and rates among the best releases of 2006 alongside the first-line timba groups leaving no doubt that this young band is a force to be reckoned with. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Track listing:
Esto está
Recoge y vete
Qué tengo
Quitándome lo malo
Cambia tu faceta
Si quieres, quiéreme
Lo bello por dentro
Si yo pudiera

Tuesday, 22 March 2011, 07:31 PM