January 27, 2016

La Mambanegra | La Galeria

ARTIST: La Mambanegra
TITLE: La Galeria
LABEL: self-released
La Mambanegra is the new project from Jacobo Velez, former front man of the outstanding urban Afro-Colombian big band La Mojarra Electrica. Jacobo’s new combo is a little smaller (a mere nine members this time), and he’s calling their style "Break Salsa": Colombian indigenous roots leavened with James Brown’s funk, Los Van Van’s songo, and 80’s hip hop and dancehall (“Under Mi Sleng Teng,” Yellowman). Their Colombia-only debut album El Callegueso Y La Malamana made several best-of-2015 lists. This EP, their first international release, reprises four album tracks and adds one new one, the title track (3) which is a great place to start: it’s a little bit like Sergent Garcia’s Latin-reggae “salsamuffin” hybrid, but jazzier and more freewheeling. 4 starts like Grupo Fantasma or a funkier Santana, then Velez tears into a multi-verse saxophone solo straight out of Pharoah Sanders. 1 is a midtempo Latin groover led by Velez’s sing-jaying, flavored with a sophisticated horn arrangement and anchored by a killer percussion section featuring more cowbell. These guys are killer, I can only imagine what they must be like in a live situation.
TOP TRACKS:    1    3    4

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