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Cuba based rap duo, Zona Franka, blends traditional rhythms with the grit and swagger of hip-hop and rap vocal phrasings. Their clever shout choruses create instant tropical dance classics using their unique self-titled "changui con flow" style.
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SpanishEnglishInterviews & Reviews - CD Review: Tumbao pal Bailador

CD Review: Tumbao pal bailador (All Star Project by Mauricio Díaz)
Cubamusic 2012

Review by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved

We have mentioned in other places that you'll be seeing the term "Cuban Salsa" a lot more in the future, and here it is again, a "Cuban Salsa All Star" project with a massive cast of musicians including Betty y su Proyecto Tiempo, Lesmer Solenzar, Laritza Bacallao, Maykel Blanco y su Salsa Mayor, Alexander Abreu, Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco, El Indio, Tania Pantoja and Pedrito Calvo. The central theme is that all of the songs were composed by Mauricio Díaz.  Mr. Díaz' songs have been finding their way into the repertoires of an increasing number of artists, and he has mentioned in interviews that Manolito Simonet had strongly encouraged this project as a way to display several of his compositions in one place. 

Many "All Star" projects sound more like an experience that the musicians survived than one that they truly enjoyed, but this one is extremely well-arranged (six of the ten tracks by Mr. Díaz, two by Manolito, one by Maykel Blanco and one by Miguel Ángel de Armas y Arturo Cruz), and it does not waste the talents of its invited guests.  We'll let others argue about which of these songs should be called Timba and which should be called Salsa.  All of them are excellent.  Most are uptempo songs, but one of the more interesting moments in the recording is Pedrito Calvo's rendition of a beautiful bolero, Dolor, backed by a lush big band arrangement. 

At this writing, Tumbao pal bailador has been nominated in the Popular Dance Music category in Cubadisco 2013.  Win or lose, this album should help augment Mr. Díaz' reputation both as a composer and arranger (he is also a fine musician, but he limits his playing time in this project.)

Tumbao pal bailador
Si tú no puedes
Mingo Valdés (Te cogieron)
El que quiera bailar
Nada después
Déjamele a mi
A pesar
Pa' que se te quite

(We are not including the personnel for this recording because the list is huge and varies a lot by track.)

Friday, 10 May 2013, 09:14 AM