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Today's Salsa CD reviews

Ismael Rivera - Maelo :

They say he is to Puerto Rican salsa what Celia Cruz is to Cuban tradition. Not sure whether the comparison fits, but surely this is great salsa. Ismael Rivera is one of those musicians who represents a myth in the NY/PR tradition and who
is far less well-known outside of it, as least by his name. However, most likely you have danced to some of his tunes without knowing it.. he is 'that guy' with a nasal voice, not always perfectly in tune, accompanied by the typical scratchy sound of salsa from the 60-70s, who sings gorgeous songs; one of those examples in which by putting several badly conceived sounds in the pot you get a soup which sounds like very good music. For us dancers, a few things are important; first, the songs are very nice, made up by simple melodies and simple but effective arrangements. Second, they flow spontaneously and you are
naturally lured into moving your feet straight from the very first bars; third, they fit the on2 side of you like a glove. Whether you are already enjoy dancing on2 or you are learning it, the slow pace of most tracks feels just right. This comes from the music being a natural NY/PR translation of traditional son, both in the rhythmic part and in the arrangement, with piano or tres taking responsibility for the harmonies and a few trumpets dialoguing with the lead voice, without intruding too much or adventuring into sophisticated arrangements. If you are used to sleek commercial latin music, or to the fast hammering of commercial Colombian salsa, it may take a while to get used to this.. but it is surely a worthwhile effort.

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews

Juan Matos, Thomas Guerrero & Nelson Flores - NY Turns, turns, turns

Level: Advanced

Style: NY

Content: Six patterns, reasonably long and challenging, quick, snappy explanations.

General Comment: A nice video, from 3 NY masters, known for their dynamic, raw style and for their creativity. At the time the video was filmed Juan was a rising star, while Thomas and Nelson were very well established internationally. Each dancer shows 2 patterns, as the title says mostly based on fast spins. The patterns are fairly advanced, on 2, and explained very quickly. As the dancers themselves state, this is a video for advanced dancers, who are able to pick a figure by just watching it. No explanation about details, you may need to use your remote a few times. The video also is meant to be funny, and at times it is, and very informal. Laughs and fast dancing are the theme. Not good is you are after technical details and style, but good if you want to learn nice unusual patterns.

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Reccomended

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Salsa articles

On2? Which On2? I am writing this post to all experienced salsa dancers out there, and in particular to all salsa instructors. I have a question which hopefully will spark ane-mailexchange from which I may understand a few things which are unclear to me. In order to put this into context, first a few 'facts'.

Fact 1 . Roughly speaking, most people dance salsa either On1, or On2 Modern Mambo (NY style) or On2 Classic Mambo (Puerto Rican style also similar to Cuban contratiempo). Today Modern Mambo is used more frequently than Classic Mambo at congresses and salsa classes around the world.. more...

The Salsa 10 Commandments: 1)You shall not dance out of time, 2) You shall not refuse a dance to a less advanced dancer , 3) You shall respect other dancers on the dance floor more...

Creativity, Style and Salsa: How can I be creative in my dancing? How does SuperMario come up with his incredible moves? Did Eddie Torres invent NY style? What is style? Who creates a style? What does it mean to be creative anyway?

There are no objective answers to the above questions. They all, one way or the other, depend on subjective views on the artistic expression we call salsa, on what we like, and on what we intend by salsa in the first place. But we can still say reasonable things about the matter and make the creative process clearer and possibly easier. What follows are some thoughts of mine, mostly borrowed from my maths background. I am sure all this must have been said already within the art or humanistic literature, and if you are aware of work in this area please let me know, so that I can learn more.

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