The Bottom Line
You might think that mambo/rumba-based salsa is dead, especially if it’s performed in the style of Tito Puente and other greats of the 1970s. Grupo Caribe is going to prove you wrong as they deliver a great album that relies on the classic salsa but offers a modern edge. 10 tracks of mambo, cha cha, rumba and other compelling Afro-Cuban beats are sure to send you to the dance floor and begging for more.
- 10 tracks of classic salsa updated for the modern salsa fan
- Each track a winner
- 10 tracks of Tito Puente style salsa with a modern twist.
- Produced by Louis Bauzo
- Released 2007 by Sergio Rivera CMS Records
Guide Review - CD Review: Grupo Caribe - Somos Caribenos
Under the direction of Sergio Rivera, New York’s Grupo Caribe has delighted Latin music fans with three previous albums of sparkling salsa. Their music is mambo/rumba based without being retro, fiery while maintaining a perfect dance tempo. This is music that would have fit-in at NY’s Palladium during salsa’s glory days yet it still manages to stay fresh and deliver a contemporary edge.
The musicians of Grupo Caribe have been together since 1996 but they’ve been part of the New York Latin music scene for much longer, many of them performing with the greats: Tito Puente, Larry Harlow, Eddie Palmieri and more. The album producer, Louis Bauzo, also offers the band his substantial talents on congas, bongos and other percussion while Roberto Rodriguez wails on the trumpet.
The album opens with a couple of tribute numbers: “Saludando” acknowledges countries that ‘have embraced the music of the Caribbean basin’ while “El Rey” salutes icon Tito Puente with a Palladium-style mambo and terrific vocals by sonero Tito Allen (I just love his characteristic glissandos). “Homenaje A Los Bailadores” calls to and salutes the dancers with such bright, compelling rhythm that the dancers are bound to salute in return. The album’s title song, “Somos Caribenos” layers guaracha and mambo and adds some nice coros to the mix.
This CD is chock-full of all sorts of tropical rhythms done with verve and style. Whether you listen to salsa or love to dance to it, you’re going to love this album.