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Yomo Toro - Greatest Hits

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The cuatro—a small guitar with 10 strings arranged in five courses—resonates with Puerto Rican cultural identity and pride. It plays a central role in the island’s jibaro music, but its distinctive tone has also graced countless salsa recordings. Yomo Toro is one of the instrument’s true masters, and this album collects a variety of tracks he’s performed on. Historically, Christmas-themed songs have played a large role in Puerto Rican culture, and some of these tracks update that tradition. Things start out on an old-school note with “Las Chismosas,” which is marked by call-and-response vocals, percolating percussion, and sweet cuatro runs. On Willie Colon’s delightful “Aires de Navidad,” Toro’s riffing is placed against one of Colon’s trademark trombone arrangements. The late, great sonero Hector Lavoe appears on “Dona Santos,” “Dona Tona,” “El Lechon de Cachete,” and “Una Pena de Navidad.” Toro rips it up on “La Cuesta de Josefina,” while “Yomo y La Evolucion” displays the cuatro’s pretty side. The album closes with the streamlined sounds of “A Nuestro Senor,” where burnished trombones and flowing percussion complement a nice vocal melody.


Born: July 26, 1933 in Guánica, Puerto Rico

Genre: Latino

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Born in Ensenada, Guánica, Puerto Rico as the son of an amateur guitarist, Yomo Toro grew to have a five-decade career as one of New York City's best respected Latin musicians. Toro's instrument of choice was the cuatro, which is a Puerto Rican ten-string guitar-like instrument descended from the Spanish vilhuela. After first landing in New York in 1953 with his band, Los 4 Aces, he embarked on a series of tours of the Caribbean, finally settling for good in the Tremont section of the Bronx in 1956....
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Yomo Toro - Greatest Hits, Yomo Toro
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