September 1, 2011

Bio Ritmo | La Verdad

ARTIST:  Bio Ritmo 
TITLE:  La Verdad 
LABEL:  Electric Cowbell 
REVIEW:  It’s hard to believe, but Bio Ritmo is now 20 years old. What seemed like a one-off project when it started has evolved into one of the country’s finest and most unusual salsa bands.  What makes Bio Ritmo virtually unique is that they honor the classic Nuyorican 1970’s salsa sound not by slavishly imitating it -- they honor the experimental, syncretic, cross-cultural drives that produced it in the first place.  Salsa was created by Latino, black and white musicians in New York City who brought together a boatload of varied influences: classic Cuban dance music, Puerto Rican folkloric traditions, jazz, soul, rock ‘n’ roll and a whole lot more.  Bio Ritmo continues in this honorable tradition -- the band is proudly multicultural, multinational and musically omniverious.  For me, the highlight here is the sole cover, an inspired version of “Carnaval” (track 4) from one of the all-time great experimental salsa recordings, Cortijo & His Time Machine.  But the original compositions are superb as well, and every track delivers delights and surprises.  This is the sound of a mature band in full command of their idiom -- not to be missed. 
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    4    5 
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    3    6    7    8

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