Alfredo de la Fe - Latitudes :
This is a very diverse CD, so much so that you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a compilation CD with music from different artists. Rather, it is a full CD with music from Alfredo de la Fe, spanning music which appears to come not only from different styles but also from different periods. In such variety it is likely you will find something you like as well as, unless your tastes are really eclectic, something you won’t.
The opining salsa “Esta es la salsa” is a sort of celebration of New York, both for its role in the salsa development and as a multicultural spot. It is a nice salsa, at medium pace, which you will enjoy dancing on2 but also on1 if you don’t belong to the NY school. The rhythm is clear and I think instructors and students would find it suitable for salsa practises and classes. The violin solo from Alfredo de la Fe may remind of a rock guitar and you may or may not find it suitable to salsa music, but it is surely one of the features of this music.
“Asomate A La Ventana” has a clear cumbia influence, though you can surely dance it a salsa; it is slow has a nice melody and a very nice arrangement, vaguely reminding of bands like Latin Brothers. “Xiomara” is a very nice version of the famous Latin classics, and the musically inclined among you will enjoy the arrangement, interleaving violins, flutes and trombones (vaguely reminding of Los Van Van) and nicely complementing the gorgeous leading voice,
“Somos El Nuevo Milenio” is a Son Montuno of clear Cuban feel, but so slow that you may find it not suitable to test your Cha Cha Cha skills. “Sandra Mora” is also a reprise of an old classic, in a version probably closer to timba than to salsa, reminding of Issac Delgado in the intro and Micheal Maza afterwards, it’s not bad and it is suitable to bring out the salsa casino style in you. By this stage of the CD you are probably accustomed to sudden styling shocks, so maybe the next one will not take you by surprise: “Hilda” is a danzon which you can dance as a bolero or simply enjoy by following the nice violin virtuosism.
“Descarga Melao” as the name suggests is a Descarga, as such very fast, in my opinion not really suitable to dance as salsa unless you are training for the Olympics, but you may feel differently about it.
“Que Manera” is a poppish salsa characterised by a long violin solo and a quite fast tempo, like “Ge Ge” in my opinion too jazzy for a dancer.
What follows is another reprise of a super-classic “Muneca”; very much like “Xiomara”, this is a very nice version and very danceable.
“Batuasalsa” completes the CD. The name suggests a mix between salsa and brazilian batucada, though I find a lot of plena in the mix and the speed may lead you to dance it as a merengue, not a fortunate combination.