|This record is distributed by GB Records, the largest Latin music distributor in New York. GB Records is located at 639 10th Avenue in Manhattan, # 212 581 2468. Ask for Sergio Bofill.
After I sat down in a Greenwich Village spot called the Blind Tiger the other day, I saw a familiar face and soon found myself involved in heavy conversation about music with the gentleman. I remembered him; I'd seen him playing the bass for a few Cuban bands at various clubs in New York City. I remembered him for his unusual sound and unique style. Mutual recognition prompted an interesting exchange on the state of music affairs. He promptly pulled out a CD from his bag of tricks. It took me a week to actually listen to the production and I am sorry I took so long.
Niño Torrento has put together a delightful musical group that brings out pure Son Montuno with room to spare. With singer Jainardo Batista who has become a staple as montuneros go in New York, world-renowned percussionist Little Johnny Rivero in combination with conguero Renato Thoms and sonero Chuito de Jesús among others, Torrento has surrounded himself with incredible firing power to support eight original compositions and two standards, resulting in a solid musical production that should be a part of the collection of any fan of the Son Montuno.
The CD opens with the theme "Gózalo" which means "Enjoy it". This cut might as well have been the title of the entire production. It's a fine number composed by Torrento that has the musicians of Son de Hoy transport you straight into the son of things. Another hot tune, "El Son te Llama - The son is calling you", exemplifies the style and musicality that is so fresh in this group. The rest of the production is more of the same, a term that I use loosely because Son de Hoy belts out one charged tune after another, in an album destined to become a classic for the dance fan.
The sound here is tight and on time if you know what I mean - on clave, solid. This is a highly danceable recording that, although not being heavily marketed, is one of the best new productions of its kind. The musicians are a classic mix of Cubans and Puerto Ricans that will make the music fan reminisce about the pre-Castro days when the Cuban influx into New York formed the vital base for the development of the Mambo era. We are living in different times now but there is no stopping quality of which there is plenty in this production. Son de Hoy is a definite throwback to the good old days.
Most importantly, Son Montuno is the musical base of everything considered Salsa today, the root of the Afro-Caribbean sound as rediscovered through the efforts of Ry Cooder and the 'youngsters' from the Buena Vista Social Club. Groups like Son de Hoy are bringing that musical tradition back with force. You can regularly hear them play places like Son Cubano, the Belle Epoque and Gonzalez & Gonzalez in New York City, but they're also beginning to tour extensively. This group is part of a new movement that is returning the essence of Afro-Caribbean music back to the fore. As musicians say, "it's back to the future". With Son de Hoy which means Son of Today, the future is now. To listen to Son Montuno, you no longer have to go to Buena Vista - Son de Hoy will suffice. This group can make you feel tropical really fast. When you see this CD, get it. I recommend it without reservations.