It is officially the middle of the year in ‘the bat of an eye’ and we have been blessed with some amazing recordings and the summer releases may become huge in the coming weeks, months and years!
Bassist Jose Papo Gonzalez, who was discovered by Johnny Vega for his Orchestra Sabor, and who first recorded in 1979 with Orquesta La Muralla in Puerto Rico, formed his band in 1990. From Rochester, New York Papo has a very nice CD out titled “Mi Tiempo” with some very prominent tracks between Salsa Romantica and Salsa Dura. Check out “Papo y su Cha Cha”, “Que Le Den, Que Le Den”, “Papo Palladium”, “El Viejo”, “Papo Con Su Bajo y Freddy y su Tres”, “Porque Te Fuiste”, and “Lo Que Quiero Contigo”.
Renown percussionist, that has been touring over the past few years with Eddie Palmieri, Little Johnny Rivero teams with vocalist Anthony Almonte on their second Salsa collaboration “Mejor Que Nunca” that will generate some great hits very soon. Just listen to the tracks “Pa’ La Feria De Cali”, “Mejor Que Nunca”, “Ven Timbero”, “Lady Casanova”, “Grazing In The Grass” and “La Psicologia”.
Pete Perignon is back with “10” celebrating a decade of leading his own band with fantastic selections that include “Tirandote Señas” with vocalist Cesar Vega, “No Se Dejen En Gañar” con Tony Succar y Marcial Isturiz, “Contigo” con Gaby Zambrano, “Seria Una Pena” con Jeremy Bosch, “La Tormenta” with Papote Jimenez and last years big hit “Uno X Uno”.
Avishai Cohen & Abraham Rodriguez Jr. combine the bass & percussion that is a relationship that goes back to the 90’s. You will love the collaboration they put together on the tunes “Fly Me To The Moon”, “Descarga For Andy”, “It’s A Man’s World”, “Avisale”, “Exodus”, “A Mi Vecina”, and “A Bailar Mi Bomba”.
One of the hottest Salsa dance CD’s to come out recently is Victor Cardona y La Maquina De La Salsa’s “Llego La Maquina”. With a total of 13 tracks you can single out the potential hits “Hoy Cantare” with Orlando Watussi, “Oyeme Tu” with Alex D’Castro, “Son De Cuatro Esquinas” with Rodrigo Mendoza, “Tambo” with Memo Aroyave, “Esto Es El Guaguanco” with Gonzalo Diaz, “Llego El Timbal” with Frederlyn Mayora, “Presencia” with Edgar Lopez and more.
It is not everyday that a child gets to produce and record with a parent in the way that Tony Succar, one of the hottest producers and musicians of this era, has been able to do by releasing “Mimy y Tony” with his mom Mimy Succar. The duo incorporates folkloric rhythms into their brand of salsa that can swing, be romantic, have a hip hop flair, as highlighted in “Carrusel”, “Aeo”, “Sentir” with guest Jose Alberto ‘El Canario’, and “Sukiyaki” with Nora Suzuki and Orquesta De La Luz. Tony Succar has become, in the last decade, one of the best creators of Latin music and a favorite not only in Peru but the entire world. Performing & producing for his mom had to be a dream come true!
Women have been huge for the past two decades and even more in the past few years and a new name to the list is Irma Ortiz Benitez better known as Irma Kache who has a 6 track EP, “Con Clase y Sabor” of five Salsa tracks and a Bolero. I loved “Mi Novio Feo” but also destined to be hits are “Eso Se Acabo”, “La Razon De Mi Vida”, and “El Vacilon”.
Dominican vocalist Beto Collado is a new name that I have been hearing about and he has a Salsa Romantica CD, “Llego La Salsa” that just dropped. One of the first new artists distributed by J&N Records the songs that Salsa Romantica lovers will enjoy include “Señora”, “Disculpame”, “Amor o Brujeria”, “Conmigo No Te Metas”, “El Amor De Tu Vida” and “Tu Ganas”.
Another Dominican making a name for himself is saxophonist Sandy Gabriel & Friends with some impressive numbers like “Dominican Palm Beach” featuring Nestor Torres & Milton Salcedo, “Rumbian2”, “For Arturo” featuring Arturo Sandoval, “Bread And Cheese” (an instrumental merengue), and instrumental bolero with the legendary Rafael Solano, and the great pop star Danny Rivera from Puerto Rico on the classic standard “En La Oscuridad”.
One of my favorite surprises of 2023 is Puerto Rican pianist Israel Tanenbaum & the Latinbaum Jazz Ensemble’s Latin Jazz debut “Impressions” with great performances on “Mambo Raro” featuring the solo improvisations by trombonists Willie Alvarez & Angel Subero, alto Saxophonist Julio Flores and vibist Dan Neville. You will also fully enjoy the strange harmonic sequences in the Guaracha “Strange Destiny” with trombonist Edilberto Lievano, trumpeter Batanga Barrera, Julio Flores again on Alto, Oriente Lopez on flute, and Felipe Lamoglia on tenor sax. The salsa flavored “Hot Bridge” is another scorching track with solos by trumpeter Jonathan Powell, Lamoglia, and Subero. The powerful closer “Vaya” features ‘Hall of Famers’ bassist John Benitez and timbalero Tito De Gracia. But it is Israel that highlights this great CD with everything he has learned over the decades. The rest of the summer will have some amazing new release heading into a fantastic finish to 2023 both in the Salsa and Latin Jazz world!
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