August 5, 2015
Quarter Street | Quarter Street
TITLE: Quarter Street
Salsa is one of New York City’s contributions to world music, but it stopped being a New York-only thing a long time ago. Nowadays the global capital of salsa is undoubtedly Cali, Colombia, and you can find world-class orquestas in the most unlikely locales. For example: Melbourne, Australia, home base of the 10-piece combo Quarter Street. The orchestra’s core are first-generation Aussies whose parents moved there from Latin America; their focus is on hard-core salsa dura the way it was played in the Bronx and Spanish Harlem in the 1970s. They cite all the right influences: Palmieri, Barretto, Colon, Lavoe. But a big part of the pleasure here is seeing how deeply they dig for material – track 2 comes from the underappreciated Sonora Poncena (via Cuba, Celia Cruz and Chano Pozo); 6 from Ismael Miranda and Larry Harlow; and 4 from Fuego ’77, a band only salsa experts would know. They do a little writing themselves: track 1 is a compelling introduction to the album and the band. The trombone section is full and firm, percussion breaks are frequent and tasty, and sonero Sergio Botero and pianist Andrew James are standouts. Sabroso!
TOP TRACKS: 1 2 4 6
ALSO RECOMMENDED: 3 5 7 8