Rhumba, Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha.
Rhumba, Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha
Putumayo World Music
28 W. 25th Street, 5th floor, New York, NY 10010
No ISBN CD, $14.98, www.putumayo.com
Although all three dance/music styles originated in Cuba, these percussive horn-flavored rhythms are the basis of "the Latin sound" heard around the world and now seen on T.V. dance competitions. Of course, some bands like to put their own local twist to the music: leave it to Putumayo to dig up some easy-to-love, very danceable sounds from some expected and unexpected places like 'Salsa Celtica', Celtic-flavored 'Esperanza" or Rus Tres Muchachos & Companeros' version of 'Pa Mantener Tradicion (Latin music from Russia?). My favorite has to be 'Fruko y Sus Tesos' revival of Perez Prado's classic 'Mambo #5': if this doesn't make you want to get up and shake your booty, you're probably already dead. Danzon, an important style predating both chachacha and mambo, is not forgotten either: listn to Orquesta La Modern Tradicion. Although the groups on this recording are from all over the planet, Cuba is represented by musicians as well as by songs and styles. Listen to the Havana-based group 'Asere' doing 'Oriente', a tribute to the province of Cuba from within which so many styles have sprung. Orente lies closest to Haiti and immigrants from Haiti have contributed much to the Cuban sound for hundreds of years, but that's a story for another recording, perhaps. Overall, a great introduction to a major music phenomenon and a terrific dance CD: put it on, get up, and move!