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Ya No Hace Falta

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Album Review

One of the best-known groups on the crest of the timba wave, a new style mixing salsa with funk and jazz elements emanating from Cuba's streets, Bamboleo stays on the cutting edge with 1999's Ya No Hace Falta. Having stepped into international notoriety with Yo No Me Parezco a Nadie in 1997, the pressure was on to deliver to their newly won fan base. With smooth arrangements and a drum-tight band, Bamboleo had no trouble making good on their reputation, and if anything, they raised the bar for the entire genre. Both the horn section and vocalists have a cool, suave approach that contrasts the lightning-rod-hot sound of similar groups like Charanga Habanera or NG la Banda. This smoky, jazzy sensibility juxtaposed against the sharp corners of the super-funky rhythm section makes for an easy, pleasurable listen. The group certainly does not want for heat, with salty montunos from pianist/arranger Lazaro Valdes and plenty of time-shifting breaks from a percussion section as good as any operating today. Sonically speaking, the ears rejoice to hear a timba record that doesn't want for fidelity or modern production sensibilities. Thanks to their well-balanced overall sound, unique approach, and expert musicianship, Bamboleo is sure to be setting trends and erasing boundaries for decades to come. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi


Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Like sweet rum and smooth cigars, Bamboleo is another one of those fine Cuban exports that, once you get a taste of it, one sampling just won't be enough. The 14-member timba group is one hot number, from its music and choreography to its well-dressed singers and musicians. Lazaro Valdes leads the band, and he also plays the piano, arranges, composes, and writes songs. A Havana native, he was enrolled in the Alejandro Garcia Caturla Academy during the 1970s. He established Bamboleo after spending...
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Ya No Hace Falta, Bamboleo
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