Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Salsa: Orquesta Magia Caribena - Cocolia

It's been forty years since Venezuelan band leader and arranger Federico Betancourt popularized the term salsa as an umbrella term for all the Afro-Cuban rhythms from son to guaguanco on his 1967 album "Llego La Salsa".

So what better tribute to a groundbreaking album than reworking some of its best tracks with an all-star cast of singers and musicians led by Federico's son, the timbal player and band leader Federico Jr.

With Venezuelan soneros Carlin Rodriguez and Dimas Pedroza on vocals and Federico senior on guiro, the old-timers sound as fresh as they did back in the days of the Combo Latino.

Back in 1967, Federico Betancourt and his Combo Latino gave Venezuelan dancers a taste of Nuyorican salsa sounds by incorporating trumpets and trombones in the style of Eddie Palmieri's band La Perfecta.

In 2007, in recognition of Federico Betancourt's place in the pantheon of salsa legends, Puerto Rican trombone player Jimmy Bosch - the current star of the old-school salsa dura revival - agreed to play on the track "Cocolia".

It doesn't get much better than this.

A note to salsa dancers: "Llego La Salsa: Parte II" is available to order online from

Orquesta Magia Caribena - Llego La Salsa, Parte II (De Hijo a Padre)

Track listing:
1. Cocolia
2. Señor Gallo
3. El Jaleo
4. Pao Pao
5. Dolores
6. Mi Querida Bomba
7. La Malas Lenguas
8. Federico Boogaloo
9. No Le Digan
10. La Cumbia Cucuta

Federico Jr. - Musical director, arrangements, timbales solo on "Cocolia"
Federico Bentancourt - Güiro on "Pao Pao"
Julio Antillano - Bass
Jesus "Menudo" Moreno - Piano
Luisito Quintero - Congas, timbal and bell
Gustavo Aranguren - Trumpet
Hector Velasquez - Trombone
Yorman "Caballo" Mendez - Conga, timbal en "Pao Pao"

Guest solos:
Jimmy Bosch - Trombone in "Cocolia" and "Las Malas Lenguas"
Enrique "Culebra" Iriarte - Piano on "Pao Pao"
Janet Trejo - Violin on "Federico Boogaloo" and "Mi Querida Bomba"
Kenny Arrieta - Accordion on "La Cumbia de Cucuta"
Prisco Oropeza - Trumpet on "Mi Querida Bomba"
Johan Munoz - Trombone on "Federico Boogaloo", "La Cumbia de Cucuta", "Señor Gallo" and "El Jaleo"

Orlando Jose "Watussi" Castillo - "Señor Gallo"
Carlin Rodriguez - "Pao Pao"
Angel Flores - "Mi Querida Bomba"
Edgar Dolor - "Dolores"
Dimas Pedroza - "Cocolia", "El Jaleo" and "No Le Digan"
Jorge Mendoza - "La Cumbia de Cucuta" and "Las Malas Lenguas"

By Russell Maddicks

Click here for a video of Orquesta Magia Caribena playing "Federico Boogaloo".

Click here for a video of Orquesta Magia Caribena playing "El Jaleo" from their new album "Llego La Salsa, Parte II".

1 comment:

NEREIDA said...

Fantastico, siempre admire a federico, ahora su hijo con el mismo sabor de su padre, que mas se puede decir, es un regalo al publico que siempre los sigue.