March 28, 2014

La Misa Negra | Misa De Medianoche

ARTIST: La Misa Negra
TITLE: Misa De Medianoche
LABEL: NAM Entertainment
The world is in the midst of a great cumbia revival, with burgeoning interest in everything from old Colombian 78s to nueva cumbia-electronica mashups. I’ve been waiting to hear an American cumbia-revival band, and here they are: La Misa Negra from Oakland. Led by guitarist/accordionist Marco Polo Santiago and fronted by two excellent and distinctive singers, this band isn’t a post-modern hybrid – they play their cumbia, porro and gaita pretty straight, rock-solid and propulsive, for the dancers, reminiscent of the top Colombian and Salvadoran orchestras of yore. They’re excellent on vintage material: try their speedy version of 9, or the accordion-driven 5. Even more exciting is the high quality of their originals – 3 and 11 sound like they could have been written by Lucho Bermudez, and 2 is another super-fast one that undoubtedly drives dancers to ecstacy. They do slip in some up-to-date touches, like the aforementioned EDM-like tempos and the jazzy soloing (check out the last minute of 2) that tips you to how talented these players really are. This one, folks, is a major find.
TOP TRACKS:    2    3    5    9    11
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    4    6    7    8    10

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