July 4, 2013
Saoco! Vol. 2: Bomba, Plena And The Roots Of Salsa In Puerto Rico 1955-1967
TITLE: Saoco! Vol. 2: Bomba, Plena And The Roots Of Salsa In Puerto Rico 1955-1967
While Cuban rhythms are the root source material for contemporary salsa, it was the Puerto Rican combos of the 1950s and 60s that really put together the ingredients we today call salsa dura. That’s the key idea behind Vampisoul’s Saoco! series, curated by French journalist Yannis Ruel. His first volume focused on how these bands made use of indigenous Boricua bomba and plena styles, and there’s some more of that here: try tracks 2 and 27, both with the trombone-driven sound that became a salsa staple. The bands also take on Cuban mambo (1 and 23) and guaracha (4 and 10), and overlay rock ‘n’ roll’s 4/4 beat on the clave on tracks 9 and 17. The lion’s share of the best material here comes from two of the greatest organizations Puerto Rico produced: Cortijo Y Su Combo with vocalist Ismael Rivera (1, 4 and 9) and the various ensembles fronted by singer Mon Rivera (2, 17, 23 and 27). Ruel’s scholarly liner notes complete this superb package, which will be of interest to all Latin music fans and pretty much anybody who wants to hear some outstanding dance music.
TOP TRACKS: 1 2 4 9 10 17 18 23 27
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