Posts Tagged ‘review’

andymCunabiche Adentro is one of my favorite El Gran Combo songs. Andy Montañez really does it in this one! When asked about 3 important moments in his career, he mentioned the recording of this song first.


¿Puede elegir tres momentos importantes de su carrera?

-Uno fue cuando grabamos en vivo un tema en Venezuela, que se llama “Cunabiche Adentro” es decir, monte adentro y grabamos en vivo rodeados de 25,000 personas, fue impresionate

The song is originally by Ali Primera. From wikipedia-
“He recorded his first album Gente de mi tierra in a studio in Germany. Primera’s compositions talk about the suffering of the people, destroyed by poverty and social inequality. Because of his songs, he quickly made his way into the hearts of the people and soon became known as El Cantor del Pueblo or The People’s Singer.”

Apparently this is a song that held great meaning for the people of Venezuela.

A sample of Cunabiche Adentro. About 3/4 of the way through.

It starts of rather sedately, yet suspensefully. You can hear the excitement of the crowd, as if they know what is coming and can hardly wait. The first time I heard this I was bored as it takes a full 2 minutes until it starts picking up, until then it is almost a mournful dirge. Some horns play, there is a little piano in the back but mostly just plaintive singing.

But then, right before the 2 minute mark it seems to taper off and end, the crowd becomes a bit noisier. And then, the horns spring to life and Andy sings “canto el gallo en la manana” and the crowd goes mad.

This for me is one of the most transcendent moments in salsa. I literally get chills sometimes when I hear this. I smile when I hear it, the crowd is clearly elated and Andy is pouring himself into this song. I feel that there is a communion of sorts and the crowd and the band are united in their joy at this moment. I love it.

And then, some El Gran Combo-ing (ie the music plays in that old EGC fashion) that peters out and then more restrained singing.

“….El le canta a la tristeza
Que en el caney se metió

(….drum roll and intense horns)
Nunca la puede sacar
Porque la lleva por dentro

And then- horns stab at the calm and Andy RIPS IT UP!!
“El llanero canta y llora
El llanero canta y cabalga
El llanero canta y llora
El llanero canta y cabalga”

The crowd is insane! By this point I am usually fully hyped and excited and i sing the next part at the top of my lungs as if I am in concert as well.

“Cubaniche Cubaniche Cubaniche Cubaniche Cubaniche Cubaniche Adentro!”

It goes full speed and then just ends. The song peaks so near the end that you never really come down, its awesome!!

El Gran Combo recorded this live in Venezuela,it can be found on the 1976 release Mejor Que Nunca.

Lyrics- I found them online and haven’t checked them against the vocals to see how accurate they are.

Va cabalgando el llanero
Oliendo a sudor de vaca
Y al cafecito negro
Que bebió en la madrugada

Va cabalgando el llanero
Lo acompaña su tonada
Cuando le canta a la luna
Cuando la luna tiene agua
Huele a no se que la brisa
Se pone a ladrar el perro

Iba llorando el llanero
Aunque lo escuche cantar

Canta el gallo en la mañana
Pero nadie ha averiguao
Cuando es que ´ta triste el gallo

Siempre el llanero
Siempre el llanero

Chapoteando en el estero
Una bandada de corocoras
Que se eleva hiriendo al cielo
Vuelve mas triste al llanero

El le canta a la tristeza
Que en el caney se metió
Nunca la puede sacar
Porque la lleva por dentro

El llanero canta y llora
El llanero canta y cabalga
El llanero canta y llora
El llanero canta y cabalga

Llorando el llanero
Sufriendo el llanero
Cunaviche adentro
Cunaviche adentro
Llorando el llanero
Sufriendo su tierra
Llorando su suelo
Cunaviche adentro
Cunaviche adentro
Un rastrojo adentro

Y su tonada dulcita
Como agua de tinajero
Pa´ endulzar su cafe negro
Aunque no endulze su vida

Iba llorando el llanero
Cunaviche adentro
Llorando el llanero
Cunaviche adentro
Un rastrojo adentro
Llorando su suelo
Llorando hasta al sombrero
Llorando al caballo
Tierra adentro
Llanero adentro
Sufirimiento adentro
Llorando el llanero
Llorando hasta al sombrero

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So the Netflix was calling me, there are some movies I need to see that I can’t get locally and dont need to buy. So I got on ye olde netteflixe and queued up some videos.
The first 2 that arrived were Maldeamores, which I will review elswhere, and Celia Cruz and the Fania All Stars in Africa.
oh happy happy joy joy

Sorry I’m not a reviewer, I dont have any format or outline here. Im just gonna WRITE!!

Its amazing. First, just seeing Celia YOUNG is a bit of a shock. I KNOW the concert was in 1974, but still.

Some details are needed I suppose.
Celia Cruz and the Fania All Stars went to Kinshasha Zaire back in 1974. Black folk were doing it up and salsa was pretty popular all over. Its a homecoming of sorts, the music born in the Americas of African descendants has made it back to Africa.
The audience looks all happy shiny and black. Man thats great to see, a far cry from the sad emaciated dust covered poor souls that seem to be all the media can show us of Africa these days.

The camera is all up in everyone’s face so you get a really upclose intimate look at the musicians. I much prefer it to concert footage that is like being in concert- you know, way way back far away from the stage looking at itty bitty little people.

We start off with Celia in a sequined fishtail dress singing Quimbara. She has some MASSIVE fake hair going, I kinda want some like that now! Pacheco* is in the back doin his thang. Some local guy is pimped out in a green shirt and a hat cocked to the side. Its awesome. And of course the music is hot, cowbells for days!
Next is Guantanamera. Celia gets her dance on during the violin solo, thats a joy to see. I didnt want to mention Pacheco again, but he picks up his flute and gets busy. He is so wiry and lithe and sinuous, just wriggling with nervous energy. He reminds me of Dave Chappelle sometimes. But, I gotta say with all that writhing I always think homey is flying rather high. MAYBE its the music, but he looks like he has a lil junkie energy propelling him. Just sayin.

We have then next EL RATON. Now this is MY SONG, so of course my DVD stalls right in the middle of Jorge Santana’s guitar solo. For the record, most of the artists up there are bien flaquito,but Cheo’s got ASS. Pacheco is so fuckin wired that he is all over the place and I want to grab his shoulders and make him sit still just for a second. Hector Lavoe is wearing an outfit that looks like Christmas and is as gawky as can be. Still, ya gotta love it.
Mi Gente. Hector doesnt sing gawky.Well, let me rephrase- his voice isnt gawky. He sings all hunched over, shoulders rounded, his arms seem too long for his body and he’s a lil scrawny.”ay africa que linda tu esta'”
I dont consider Mi Gente one of my favorite songs, but over the years becasue of the pleasant associations it has become a favorite.Its a happy feel good song. You see Hector looking lanky singing and then in the crowd absolutely beaming with joy. Fuckin great!

Pacheco on el pito for another go at Guantanamera. I know no other man who can make a flute look ghetto. LOL I dont consider this song a favorite despite the fact that I am sitting here singing it full blast.

Ya gotta watch it, check out Ismael Miranda, Nicky Marrero, Yomo Toro, Harlow, Baretto- damn!! It doesnt get better than this!

  • I realized that I am truly a salsa geek because my friends and I talk about Pacheco, Maelo, Justo like they are friends of ours.”dude, pacheco was killin it”

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A quick Review

1. Intro f Arcangel
I’m bored already. I get it, I get it. The world is ending yada yada, armies of cyborgs roam the steets in military formations, you’ve seen a sci fi movie blah blah, you’re a gargoyle blahblahblah. However, I still love Arcangel, though he doesnt sound good live (since I never see him live – NONISSUE), his flow is as sexy as ever. The song is dark and plodding and generally lacking exuberance or vibrance.

2. Randy- Terminamos Agresivo
Kinda bouncy and ok, I’d dance to it, but I wouldn’t rush to the floor or anything. But the beat is decent.

3. Arcangel and De La Ghetto- Te Estoy Buscando
Too spacy at the beginning and the breathy vocals just arent getting it, A sounds like he has been gargling with Drano.Its BORING.

4. Cosculluela y Jomar- No Le Temo a Los Nombres
Ah, nothing like a song that begins with the sounds of urban warfare and some Don Omarish mournful singing. I dont like funeral dirges. I dont like this. Its slow and the vocals lack the required urgency and bite to cut through the music. Ok, if they sharpened the gunfire, upped the tempo a tiny bit and made the bass go BOOM, i would like it a little.

5.Magnate and Valentino F Arcangel Morir de Amor
Well, what a surprise. Burbling electrohappy sounds and then, what? Is this CHEERFUL? Well, its pop-py but well, think I may enjoy it. Is that the trick, place a mediocre cheerful track after a few slow dull dreary ones so it POPS in comparioson and you LOVE it?
I dont do music, but it sounds muddy and needs to be a lil clearer to sound as happy as it needs to.

6. Khriz y Angel – Seras Mia
Blurble blurbrle, you know, I sort of like this. Its high energy and I dont listen to reggaeton to depress me, so Im game.

7.Joel- Se Fue
Do I hear rain? Is that rain? A genre blending plaintive ballad that would work much better if the singer could, you know, sing.Oooh, this is sneaky, my ears dont like it, but Im dancing in my chair because my body is conditioned to respond to the beat merengue invariably makes me feel joyful.

8. Lina G- The Party Getting Started
1. A chick is singing. 2. Its in English (partially). But Imma give it a chance, Im gonna try. Well, I cant listen to the whole thing, but if you like like Kat de Luna and Lisa Lisa and stuff, you should like this. It gets better in the middle, ok if it breaks down and gets super nasty then I can tolerate it, but its going to have to reach that part soon. It didnt.

9. Mario VI and La Sista- Dos Amigos Dos Amantes
I like Mario VI and La Sista doesnt count as a chick, because her voice doesnt make me cringe. This shit is the hottest on the cd thus far. Its about an 8/10 but I cant be too picky. I would add a TINY bit more intensity, ramp it up a little. This one will make it onto the iPod so I can irritate the good citizens of the city with my particular variant of noise pollution.

10. Nicky Jam- Dime Si Tu Quieres
Decent beat obscured by too much “i love you, i love you” and the sound of lil kids playing atari. I hate Nicky Jam.

11. Jowell- Hazte La Loca
Jowell “el mas suelto”. hazte la loca. Hey, I dont need to hear the song, this already sounds like my kind of party. You know, thats the problem, this cd never gets loose, never gets crazy.I want it to be a lil more acelerao.

12. Diel- Se Te Toco
Oh yeah, I’ve heard this, didnt Zion do this on Los Benjamins? A rather droning bachaton with some vocordery vocals. I would like it if I hadnt heard it 2 million times already. The pitch of the entire song seems off, it is very hard for me to listen to.

13 Fade- Dont Stop
Ok, fine, only 2 more songs to go, I will listen. Another Ziony song. If I were 25 I would love this.

14. Alex Killer- Deja Que TE Toquen
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its the LAST SONG!!! I like the beat, but it sounds really Los Benjaminesque and I dont want to hear it. Oh crap, but the beat does kinda grab me and beat wins over vocals every time.

What if the cd doesnt suck, what if my speakers are just all screwy? Nah, it sucks.

Final Analysis, not worth buying but a few tracks are danceworthy.

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