Norfolk Daily News, CD Review >>
The following are reviews of albums now available or soon to be released:
Jose Conde y Ola Fresca serve salsa a number of ways on "(R)Evolucion."
Conde, an American brought up in Miami by his Cuban born parents, has done his time with traditional Cuban music (including 2004's "Ay! Que Rico") and now pursues an alternative-Latin style that slices and dices salsa with other ingredients.
Busting out of regimented structure allows Conde and his band to play with electric guitars and organs and unconventional rhythms. Notations on the CD package indicate the derivations of songs -- "Ritmo y Sabor" is funk flavored by son music, for example, while "Cafi Con Sangre" mixes salsa with Puerto Rican bomba.
But those who rush to Wikipedia to look up these terms are totally missing Conde's point: "(R)Evolucion" is about freedom from definition.
The fluid sound is certainly liberating and inescapable. Any effort to resist the rollicking keyboards and domineering bass of "Ritmo y Sabor" is an exercise in self-denial. Same goes for the cha-cha enticement of "El Titere," the horn-roused "Mi Musica" and the florid jam session "Descarga Inez."
"(R)Evolucion" is a broad international experience, too, featuring an hypnotic New Orleans/funk "Oshiri Pan Pan" that fuses Japanese and Spanish lyrics and a whimsically surreal Haitian compass/son "Pititi y Titi" that is offered in both French and Spanish versions. The unpredictability of the release and its vivacious spirit ultimately win out. 08/28/07