Saturday, June 03, 2006

YURI BUENAVENTURA Salsa Dura - Mercury B000BKS02Y

After a number of experimental releases, the “salsero Don Quixote” delivers up an album of wholesome, undiluted hot salsa. This is the fourth album from the Colombian star of the Parisian Latino scene (the first three are summarised in a compilation The Best of Yuri Buenaventura), and this time there are no cover versions of French classics (a la Brel’s Ne Me Quitte Pas on his debut release) and no collaborations with stars of the world music scene (as in those with Faudel and Orishas on his previous album), just a whole bunch of straight-ahead, highly-accomplished, full-band salsa tunes complete with blasting brass section, piano, tres, percussion, tight and harmonious backing vocals, kitchen sink and all.
The title track and opener has a touch of the guajiro about it, and rattles along at a fair old pace with Buenaventura gradually abandoning his usual smooth crooning vocal style for a full-blooded scat as the band accelerate to a perfectly measured conclusion.
If nothing else quite matches the sheer unadulterated thrill of that song, there are one or two points that nearly get there. Rueda de casino is just under three minutes of high-tempo fun, the rewardingly spare Marruecos is probably closest to the Afro-exploration of earlier albums, and the final track is a very accomplished tribute to Congolese African nationalist leader Patrice Lumumba.
This is pure, unadulterated modern salsa music which has to be highly recommended for aficionados of the style.

This review was first published on Fly:-

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