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Today's Salsa CD reviews


Ismael Rivera - Maelo
:

They say he is to Puerto Rican salsa what Celia Cruz is to Cuban tradition. Not sure whether the comparison fits, but surely this is great salsa. Ismael Rivera is one of those musicians who represents a myth in the NY/PR tradition and who
is far less well-known outside of it, as least by his name. However, most likely you have danced to some of his tunes without knowing it.. he is 'that guy' with a nasal voice, not always perfectly in tune, accompanied by the typical scratchy sound of salsa from the 60-70s, who sings gorgeous songs; one of those examples in which by putting several badly conceived sounds in the pot you get a soup which sounds like very good music. For us dancers, a few things are important; first, the songs are very nice, made up by simple melodies and simple but effective arrangements. Second, they flow spontaneously and you are
naturally lured into moving your feet straight from the very first bars; third, they fit the on2 side of you like a glove. Whether you are already enjoy dancing on2 or you are learning it, the slow pace of most tracks feels just right. This comes from the music being a natural NY/PR translation of traditional son, both in the rhythmic part and in the arrangement, with piano or tres taking responsibility for the harmonies and a few trumpets dialoguing with the lead voice, without intruding too much or adventuring into sophisticated arrangements. If you are used to sleek commercial latin music, or to the fast hammering of commercial Colombian salsa, it may take a while to get used to this.. but it is surely a worthwhile effort.

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews


Salsaddiction (Brian & Mechteld) - Advanced

Level: Adv

Style: On2

Content: Turn Patterns

General Comment: With exactly the same structure as their ‘Intermediate’ volume, Brain and Mechteld bring to us three more combinations each with variations, for a total of 10 turn patterns plus one shine. Most turn patterns are based on the idea of leaning the lady into sudden changes of directions. This is an idea which is elaborated cleverly both in the way it is lead, where the change of direction is placed and its general look and feeling. But the real value of the DVD, in my opinion, lies in simply looking at Brain and Mechteld dancing: I could do this for hours and I caught myself with a smile on my face while I admired the way Brian interprets the music with surprising simple body gestures.. for me that is worth the cost of the DVD in itself. I hope this couple will produce many, many more products. As the ‘Intermediate’ this DVD is also Danced on 2, this time to a very catchy timba groove and spoken in Dutch with English subtitles.

Reviewed by Fabio of SalsaIsGood - Reccomended

 
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Salsa articles

On2? Which On2? I am writing this post to all experienced salsa dancers out there, and in particular to all salsa instructors. I have a question which hopefully will spark an e-mail exchange from which I may understand a few things which are unclear to me. In order to put this into context, first a few 'facts'.

Fact 1 . Roughly speaking, most people dance salsa either On1, or On2 Modern Mambo (NY style) or On2 Classic Mambo (Puerto Rican style also similar to Cuban contratiempo). Today Modern Mambo is used more frequently than Classic Mambo at congresses and salsa classes around the world.. more...

 
The Salsa 10 Commandments: 1)You shall not dance out of time, 2) You shall not refuse a dance to a less advanced dancer , 3) You shall respect other dancers on the dance floor more...

 
Creativity, Style and Salsa: How can I be creative in my dancing? How does SuperMario come up with his incredible moves? Did Eddie Torres invent NY style? What is style? Who creates a style? What does it mean to be creative anyway?

There are no objective answers to the above questions. They all, one way or the other, depend on subjective views on the artistic expression we call salsa, on what we like, and on what we intend by salsa in the first place. But we can still say reasonable things about the matter and make the creative process clearer and possibly easier. What follows are some thoughts of mine, mostly borrowed from my maths background. I am sure all this must have been said already within the art or humanistic literature, and if you are aware of work in this area please let me know, so that I can learn more.

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