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Tomate Y Alandette (LP)

Long Play Vinyl
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"Tomate Y Alandette" by La Pesada is one of the best tropical records released by Codiscos. Issued in 1978, the album is a "one off" by an all-star ensemble of musicians and singers, many of whom had played with Fruko y sus Tesos, Los Hermanos Martelo and other Colombian orchestras. The album showcases a diverse and eclectic range of stylistic modes and genres. There is cumbia, salsa, bolero, son montuno, descarga and even calypso. The arrangements and instrumentation range from flute and violin charanga in a "typico" Cuban mode (augmented by a trombone section) to Colombian percussion-heavy cumbia, and from the Willie Coln style of brash Nuyorican trombone salsa to the more Cuban conjunto trumpet sound like La Sonora Matancera. Through it all, the jazzy arrangements keep things fresh and swinging. Colombian artists were absorbing all sorts of influences, both old and new, from Cuba, the US and Puerto Rico, but putting their stamp on the music with a different perspective coming from their own background, and La Pesada is a prime example of this intriguing tendency. The vocals were handled by the excellent Afro-Colombian sonero Hugo "Sabor" Alandette who had been in Los Seven Del Swing, and would go on to join Los Chicos Malos and then form Grupo Melao in the 1980s. In addition, Mike Char, who was a good friend of many people at Discos Fuentes and wrote quite a few hits for Fruko, joined as an invited guest, contributing the groove-heavy yet bittersweet 'La sigo queriendo' and singing lead on '?ngel sonando'. Indeed between Montoya, "Tomate" and Char, a number of the songs sound like classic '70s Fruko y sus Tesos, but filtered through a charanga lens with a heavy Conjunto Libre influence. 'Cumbia y tamb? (En la lluvia)' has been an international dance floor staple for many years; there's nothing like it to get the party started! However, the real salsa bomb is 'Hojas secas'! The upbeat calypso on side 2 is a fun version of Alan O'Day's funky 1977 hit 'Undercover Angel' retitled '?ngel so?ando'. Another cover is 'El paso de encarnaci?n', first made famous by Orquesta Aragon and then Larry Harlow, done here in a faithful charanga t?pica rendition. La Pesada also took Mexican heart throb crooner Juan Gabriel's 1974 mariachi hit, 'L?grimas y lluvia' and turned it into a super hot 'salsa con charanga' that features a fantastic electric piano solo from Tomate. The album closes with a fantastic guaguanc? dedicated to Cali, the city that loves to salsa, where La Pesada channels Willie Coln and Hector Lavoe to great effect. All in all, a very satisfying and diverse collector's album that receives its first-time reissue here in glorious remastered sound.
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