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Album Review

Carmelina shows just how much the music of Toto La Momposina had developed since her debut, La Candela Viva. Recorded in 1994/95, it's far less folkloric than its predecessor — although three of the tracks do fall into that category. Instead, the focus is on songs, and the arrangements are much fuller, unafraid to add brass to tracks like the porro "Los Sabores Del Porro" or the Afro Colombiano "Ven Pronto." Notable by its absence is Colombia's national rhythm, the cumbia, although the pan-Latin bolero form is represented with a pair ofbolero sons, "La Sombra Negra" and the title track. Where the traditional styles on her previous outing had explored the Afro-Colombian tradition of her island of Mompos, the folkloric cuts here, such as "Indios Farotos," delve into the Indian past, with an emphasis on the native gaita, or flute. With Toto once again in wonderful full voice, it's impossible to resist the rhythms and warm melodies of the songs. Even the edgy "Mohana," with its disorienting, echo-y production, doesn't sound forbidding or out of place. But Toto's grown to become more than a singer from Mompos, or even from Colombia. As the performances show, she's a major talent in Latin music — and on the basis of this, justifiably so.


Born: 01 August 1940 in Bolivar, Columbia

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Totó La Momposina exemplifies the living tradition of Colombian folk music, having carefully studied and performed her native song and dance for several decades. Colombia's indigenous music is a heavily rhythmic hybrid of Spanish, native South American, and Afro-Cuban influences, and La Momposina mastered its different styles and rhythmic variations so well that she was invited to perform at the 1982 Nobel Prize ceremony for Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez. La Momposina was born in the...
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Top Albums and Songs by Totó La Momposina

Carmelina, Totó La Momposina
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