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SpanishEnglishLegado - (EGREM) - Released 2017

CD REVIEW:  LEGADO by Formell y Los Van Van (EGREM 2017)
Review by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved 

Winner Cubadisco 2018 Special Award
Nominated for 2019 Grammy Best Tropical Latin Album

When a group like Los Van Van has left such a vast body of wonderful works, it gets more and more difficult for writers like yours truly to say something new and insightful that has not already been said so many times in so many other places.   Legado, however, merits a couple of special observations:  

1.  With Los Van Van's 50th anniversary approaching, it would have been easy to do a simple restrospective album.  Legado is more ambitious.  It does feature some of Juan Formell's early compositions, including one of my personal favorites from the early years of the group, Por qué lo haces, but with new arrangements that respect the feel of the originals while sounding modern.  There are also new compositions by Samuel Formell and other members of the group, and this, too, makes it more than a retrospective 
2.  This album digs deep into the Songo roots of the band, and since very few other bands (except those of former members) ever truly mastered Songo, Legado is a potent reminder of what made Songo's appearance on the cultural scene  so distinctive.   Like the Son, however, Songo lives and evolves.   
3.  Samuel Formell has always been an excellent drummer, but his work truly stands out here and adds an extra dimension to the sound. 

If I were to choose an album out of Los Van Van's last half-dozen to introduce a new listener to the group, Legado would probably be the one.   It captures the original excitement of Songo in a bottle while sounding brand new.   

Legado was awarded a Special Prize in Cubadisco 2018 and is currently a nominee for Best Tropical Latin Album in the GRAMMY®  awards. 


1. Legado opening  (Samuel Formell)
2. Vamos a pasarla bien  (Abdel Rasalps)
3. Vanvanidina (Armando Cantero)
4. Culpable de nada (Jorge Leliebre)
5. Vanvaneo (Roberto Hernández)
6. Al paso (Samuel Formell)
7. Qué pena (Boris Luna / Juan Ballestrero)
8. Te extraño (Juan Formell)
9. Por qué lo haces (Juan Formell)
10. Yo no soy un mango (Samuel Formell / Alberto Alberto)
11. Hecho pa' bailar (Roberto Hernández)
12. Legado de vida (Jorge Leliebre)
13. Amiga mía (Juan Formell)
14. Anda, camina Juan  (Roberto Hernández) 

Musical and Technical Credits for Legado

Role - InstrumentName
General Direction, Drums, Timbal Samuel Formell
Piano Efraín A. Chibás
Bass Juan Carlos Formell
Congas  Joel Cuesta
Güiro Julio E. Noroña
Keyboards  Boris Luna
Trombone Hugo Morejón
Flute  Jorge Leliebre
Violins  Irving Frontela, Ricardo M. Labrada
Viola  Irving Frontela
Coros Armando Cantero, Angel Bonne, Maday Poll, Jorge Leliebre
Lead Vocals  Vanessa Formell, Roberto Hernández "Robertón", Armando Cantero "Mandy", Abdel Rasalps "El Lele"
Guest Artists Carolina Rodríguez (Cello), Añel R. Sarduy & Giselle Sánchez (Violin); Jonathan S. Formell (Guitar) 
General Production & Direction Samuel Formell
Musical Production, Arrangements  Samuel Formell, Boris Luna, Efrain A. Chibás, Jorge Leliebre
Recording Engineer  Alejandro Pulido
Recording Assistant  Reinier Álvarez
Mix Engineer Mario Aracil
Mastering Carlos Álvarez
Studios El Rincón Vanvanero & Estudio 18 EGREM
Bill Tilford - Saturday, 09 February 2019, 03:17 AM