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Latinos Unidos Reviews by Nelson Rodriguez

Tito Nieves   “Navidad A Mi Estilo”

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Tito Nieves has been a Salsa vocal icon from his beginnings in New York with Orchestra Cimarron, then Puerto Rico with La Masacre, and then becoming a star as the lead vocalist of the NY based Conjunto Clasico. Along with Ray Castro and Ramon Rodriguez (primary composer of this ‘tipico’ sound), Clasico made ‘tipico’ music popular with the younger generation that would consider this ‘campesino’ style to be music for the ‘hicks’, jibaros or just plain old folks. Tito’s unique vocal phrasing and the band’s refreshing sound had become historical during that time period and now comes around full circle for Christmas 2017 with his latest recording.

Composer and longtime friend, Ramon Rodriguez, wrote seven of the eight tracks which is a blend of ‘tipico’ holiday tracks with the danceable Salsa tunes where Tito does an outstanding performance that will make this CD a favorite for many years to come and a standard for all radio and house parties. This CD will be in on my Christmas playlist at Alma Del Barrio (KLTX 88.9 FM in Los Angeles) every year.

Months ago Tito introduced us to the single “Quiero Cantarle a Mi Tierra” and the current hit, the holiday gem “El Culito Del Pan”, has been making its way to the airwaves all across the US, Caribbean and South America.

My pick hits here are: “Quiero Cantarle a Mi Tierra”, “Como Eres Tan Lindo”, “El Aguinaldo De Doña Elena”, “Aquí Estamos Todos”, “El Culito Del Pan” and the pop hit “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” which is a beautiful version of the classic Christmas song with the vocal duet talent of Charity Daw.

 

Edwin Lebron     “Xtraordinario”

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One of my favorite artists of this past decade who has backed up some of the industries best, recorded with some of them (most recently on Tito Nieves’ last three recordings) and is at his best when he does his own projects just released his third recording “Xtraordinario” that has proven to be a huge winner to end 2017 and promises to stay strong in 2018. Edwin Lebron “El Sonero Urbano” wowed me a few years ago when he teamed with Mambo Lebron on the super hit “S.A.L.S.A.”

This new recording has it all…Salsa Romantica (Te Esperare, Vuele, Eres Mi Vida), Christian music (Por Eso Lo Alabo) and ‘old skool’ Salsa (Soy Rumbero and Bongocero) and “Seguimos Parrandeando” for the holidays with an awesome line-up of guests such as the producers, musicians and vocalists that include NG2, Kevin Ceballo, Chino Nuñez, Tito D’Gracia, Tony Vega, Tony Succar and Ray Colon.

Club DJ’s will love the Salsa dura tracks “Soy Rumbero” and “Bongocero”. Commercial radio should excel with “Eres Mi Vida” and “Te Esperare”.

 

La Candela     “On Time”

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Many years ago during my visit to the Canary Islands, Tenerife, off Spain, I learned of their love for Salsa music that generated many huge music festivals and wondered when the youth would begin to form their own bands on the island. Today you can hear the influence of one of those bands that has been releasing mostly singles until last years “On Fire” full CD.

La Candela’s debut had a focus on the style of Joe Cuba and now on their 2017 release continue to record music dedicated to the dancer. The septet offers now the musical influence of Tito Rodriguez and Machito with songs like “Tremendo Cumban”, “Estoy Como Nunca” and “Componte Cundunga” as well as their own original tunes.

While there have been many sextets and septets surfcing in the past decade this new band has a bright future ahead of them and will shine throughout the world of radio and clubs with the tracks “Descarga On Time”, “133”, “Que Problema”, “Estoy Como Nunca”, “Se Me Van” and the lead single “Se Prendio” in 2018.