Various Artists - Night In Puerto Rico, A (Music CD)

Release Date: 03 May 2010
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Puerto Rico has made significant contributions to Latin dance music, notably including the plena and bomba genres. However, on the evidence of this collection, the island commonwealth's capacity for broader musical influence in the region has been hamstrung by its tendency toward big, silky choral and orchestral arrangements. This collection showcases both the strengths and the weaknesses of Puerto Rican music: on the plus side are a brilliant 1949 recording of Tito Puente & His Orchestra and the equally thrilling, clearly Cuban-influenced "Soy Boricua" by Giro. On the more schmaltzy and unappealing end of the spectrum are the cloying "Piel Canela" by Ecco, the string-sodden and maudlin "En Mi Viejo San Juan" by Pedro Rivera Toledo, and the almost laughably bombastic "Madrigal" by Lucecita Benitez -- even making allowances for different cultural expectations and tastes, it's hard to imagine anyone not being annoyed by Benitez's pseudo-operatic excesses. On the other hand, Carmita Jimenez takes a similar arrangements and a broadly similar approach, only with a bit more vocal restraint, on "Qu‚ Sabes T£," and the result is much more impressive. Most of the recordings collected here are from the early '90s, though not all of them sound like it -- Bobby Capo's singing style is strangely and fascinatingly archaic on the interesting "Mi Mejor Cancion" (recorded in 1981). This collection offers some great moments, but they're unfortunately hidden among some fairly schlocky fare. ~ Rick Anderson
Release Date: 03 May 2010
  • 1. Ea Nyoloha Khanyapa - LePhallang, Manka
  • 2. Lomhlaba - Dilika
  • 3. Phatha Phatha - Elite Swingsters
  • 4. Shosholoza (Stimela Sase Msawawa) - Mkhize, Themba
  • 5. Kanimambu - Tananas
  • 6. Ingoma - Mahlasela, Vusi
  • 7. Kgomo - Gwangwa, Jonas
  • 8. Weeping - Mahlasela, Vusi
  • 9. Baba Mdali - Asolundi, Amaphoyisa
  • 10. Morena Ke Motshehetsi - Macecilia a St. Paul
  • 11. New Beginnings - Sephuma, Judith
  • 12. Destiny - Malaika
  • 13. Doo Be Doo - Freshlyground
  • 14. Feel Good - Lira
  • 15. Fly - Zamajobe
  • 16. Soundtracks and Comebacks - Goldfish
  • 17. Another Universe - Carstens, Arno

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Catalogue No: 88697353012