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CD Review: Gloria Estefan - 90 Millas

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The Bottom Line

Gloria Estefan's 4th Spanish-language album is her best, not surprising when you consider the spectacular cast of musicians that join her on this homage to her native Cuba. 90 Millas takes Estefan back to her roots with lots of varied Afro-Cuban rhythms and genres, some pure in form, others mixed with her trademark pop sound. A must have for any fan of modern, Afro-Cuban music.

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Pros

  • "No Llores", the break-out single with Santana, Feliciano and Sheila E.
  • "Esperando" addressed to Cubans on the island
  • Duet with La India on "90 Millas"

Cons

  • None

Description

  • 14 tracks
  • Guest artists: Carlos Santana, Jose Feliciano, Andy Garcia, India, Johnny Pacheco
  • And Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D'Rivera, Cachao, Papo Lucca, Generoso and more
  • Released by Sony BMG Legacy

Guide Review - CD Review: Gloria Estefan - 90 Millas

The cross-over success of Miami Sound Machine /Gloria Estefan's 1985 album Primitive Love changed the group's musical direction; the music moved more to Latin-tinged Pop, the language was more often English than Spanish, MSM moved to the background while the shy Estefan moved to headliner status. She did make 3 other Spanish-language albums: Mi Tierra(1993), Abriendo Puertas (1995) and Alma Caribena (2000).

Estefan fans who prefer the Afro-Cuban to the Pop are going to be overjoyed with 90 Millas. The Spanish-language album is a return to grass-roots Cuban music interspersed with heavily Cuban-tinged pop. 90 miles is the distance between Key West and Cuba and, in that vein, 90 Millas is a celebration of the island Estefan called home until Castro's coup and the family's 1959 move north to Miami.

The truly amazing part of 90 Millas is the guests that Estefan brings to her musical fiesta. The ultimate 'A' list of Latin artists join her in an explosion of tropical rhythm and music.

The album took two years to make. Gloria and Emilio Estefan wrote the songs then wrote the guest list, dividing the 20+ artists into a blend of older Latin legends and current, younger icons. Some of the old school include Johnny Pacheco, Papo Luca, Candido Camero and Chocolate Armenteros. The new is represented, in part, by Carlos Santana, Jose Feliciano, India, Sheila E., Arturo Sandoval and Andy Garcia.

Put all these elements together and you get a feast for the senses, redolent of Cuban nights and brimming with joyous rhythm and song.

If you like extra spice, put on those earphones to really hear these extraordinary musicians doing what they do best.

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