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Today's Salsa CD reviews

Adalberto Alvares y su Son – El Son De Adalberto Suena Cubano

Music can express and deliver different feelings. The first 4 tracks of this CD communicate to me something very simple and genuine: happiness; and so much of it that even if the rest of the CD was poor, I would still be thankful of ever coming across it. But there is more: the rest of the CD is also as nice, which is why it ranks so high in my preference list.

Adalberto Alvarez has been synonym with Son Cubano for many decades, thanks to his contribution both as solo and with support bands like Son 14. This is fresh Son though, and it may sound like salsa if you are not very familiar with the subtleties of the different styles: the main harmonies are supported by a piano, rather than the traditional tres, and a full brass section plays in place of the traditional single trumpet. But what really makes all happen is the quality of the arrangement and the simplicity and immediacy of the melodies; the domineering voice of Amaris Galindo adds the last cherry to the already amazing cake. The first track, “Si No Fuera Por Las Mujeres“ is actually closer to a Puerto Rican plena than to a Cuban song, and it may feel a bit too fast to dance as a salsa; “Mi Tumbao”, “Buena Pero No Es Pa' tanto”, “Hablando Como Extranjero” and “Amor A Primera Vista” emit their concentrated happiness at a slower pace, perfect to both enjoy and practise with. “Déjame Llorar”, “Cuentas Verdes Y Amarillas”, “Somos El Son De Cuba“ and “Caprichosa” is perfect for dancing, though less happy than the rest. “Cuatro Sones De Adalberto“ is a mix of old songs, as Adalberto Alvarez likes to include is his CDs and the closing track in a nice bolero. Mostly slower tempos, this is an ideal top-class CD to practise too, though if it makes you as happy as it does to me, you may lose focus and forget what you try to practise. 31-7-07

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews

West Coast Salsa Congress - 7th West Coast Salsa Congress 2005

Level: Beg-Adv

Style: Any

Content: Performances.

General Comment: I am not a fan of performances and I am not a fan of big congresses, but this set of DVDs is great. To me, watching the LA congress DVDs is like watching the olympic games or the soccer world cup: a display of all the stars, as well as the future ones, from everywhere around the world, giving their very best. Th ese 4 DVDs contain some 8 hours of performances and, as you can expect, plenty of variety; California is widely represented, for geographical reasons, but you will also see plenty of NY and PR, many other US cities, Italy , Spain , Japan , Korea , Singapore , Venuezuela , Mexico , Holland , Australia .. you name it.. and all age groups, from kids who will you speechless to a lady who could very well be our grandma performing acrobatics which would leave me hopelessly paraplegic.. The quality is very, very high; go and compare with the very first LA salsa congress tape, and you will realise what progress has been made in less than a decade.. Q uite astonishing; maybe in 40-50 years people will talk about this era as a remarkable blossoming of creativity and technique in L atin dancing. But to me, the best of all is to see how, even among an average of such high talent, the great still stand a span above all others, and there is no need for me to name them, as you will clearly see it yourself; a demonstration of the undefinable border between top technique and 'inner class'. If you have been to the congress you will probably have this DVD set as a souvenir, if you have not been, I suggest you buy it.

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Recommended

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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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