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¡Aqui Estamos y de Verdad!

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Album Review

To call el Gran Combo de Puerto Rico a salsa classic would be the understatement of a lifetime. Words like "mythic" or "legendary" would better describe their weight and ubiquitous presence in the salsa world. Their 2004 release Aquí Estamos y...¡de Verdad! is in keeping with their tradition of excellence, and the Latin Grammy nomination it garnered is well deserved. Musical director Rafael Ithier favors the round, warm sound that made el Gran Combo the household name that it is. From the vocal approach to the horn and percussion section, the common goal seems to be salsa as smooth as possible. The youthful fire and passion emulated by younger artists is replaced by el Combo's mature elegance. From the photo on the cover to the wise musical sensibility of Aquí Estamos y...¡de Verdad!, some might consider the package outdated — la salsa de mis abuelos. El Gran Combo might not win any new fans with this release, but on the other hand, they don't need to. They deliver the classic, flawless musical stylings that won the hearts of their people, and later the world. Sometimes it's refreshing when an artist does not try to reinvent himself. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi


Genre: Salsa and Tropical

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

Led by pianist and musical director Rafael Ithier (born: Rafael Ithier Eddie Perez), El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico is one of Puerto Rico's greatest dance bands. Four decades after their inception, the 13-piece salsa group continues to inspire dancers with its horn-punctuated Latin rhythms and lush vocal harmonies. Officially named "Ambassadors of Our Music" by the Puerto Rican Senate, El Gran Combo's many hits include such classics as "El Menu" and "Timablero." Their 1978 album, En Las Vegas sold...
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¡Aqui Estamos y de Verdad!, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico
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