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Album Review

Though a veteran of the style and a longtime favorite among Dominican music loyalists, just a step below the merengue elite, Ramón Orlando is no superstar. Evidently no one told him, because he certainly performs like one. His 2004 release Generaciones features some of the hippest songwriting and arrangement that modern merengue has to offer. Each tune has an individual charm and intelligence all its own, which is a distinguishing feature in a genre that has at times lacked in freshness and creativity. Both the vocal and instrumental performances throughout contain both maturity and ample youthful vigor, a rare combination. From the guest appearance of Milly Quezada to Carlos Calderón Milanés' and Orlando's singing throughout the record, the vocal performances are consistently enchanting and impressive. The excellent piano and keyboard performances will come as no surprise to those familiar with Orlando's artistic history, having not only recorded over a dozen projects of his own from the bandleader's seat, but also having served in a similar capacity for his famous father, Dominican musical legend Cuco Valoy. High standard set by an excellent pedigree and immense discography notwithstanding, Orlando hits the mark, and with force. He has won himself a place among the most intelligent and sophisticated merengue artists not only of his day, but on record to date. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi


Born: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Ramón Orlando (born Ramón Orlando Valoy) was the son of the famed merengue bandleader Cuco Valoy and grew up playing keyboards in his father's bands. His role within that legendary band helped get him jobs with a number of other groups in Santo Domingo, leading to his incredibly prolific recording career (more than 50 albums with various groups, more than a dozen with his own combos). His merengue orchestra, Ramon Orlando y la Orquesta Internacíonal, achieved success that mirrored Orlando's father's...
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Generaciones, Ramon Orlando
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