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Charanga La Tapa
Charanga La Tapa
Charanga La Tapa
Genres: World Music, Latin Music
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1


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All Artists: Charanga La Tapa
Title: Charanga La Tapa
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sar
Release Date: 8/23/1994
Genres: World Music, Latin Music
Styles: Caribbean & Cuba, Cuba, Charanga
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 784334010422, 023258904746

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CD Reviews

2 GEORGEOUSLY AWESOME one-off recordings on 1 Cd!!! A Charan
S. | 11/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This WONDERFUL Charanga Cd (which has a total play-time of 56.07 mins) includes the following 2 FULL LP's from 1981 on this Cd:


Side A: Presénte Y Pasádo (11:37)

Side B: Macorína (9:22)

[Originally came with one long song on each side], and:


Side A: Vámonos Pa'l Monte (9:11) / El Platanál De Bartólo (7:53)

Side B: Papá Montero (8:08) / Oriente (9:53)

[Neon Records, to me, often seemed like a division of Roberto Torres's SAR/Guajiro Records label, but, I'm not fully sure whether he owned the full catalogue or not.]

Mr. Torres surely recorded by mistake Charanga La Tapa's Side B first, BUT I'm giving you ALL these details because he didn't EVEN bother to give them to us!

ONLY by MIRACLE, the musicians from La Tapa are listed at the back of this Cd!...UNBELIEVABLE!...
(If it was ONLY that, what Roberto had done wrong with many of the SAR Cd reissues from the 90's, then I would've been VERY happy!......)

Anyway, CHARANGA LA TAPA is a GREAT and VERY lively Cuban style of Charanga recording interpreted by a SUPERB band composed (most probably at 99%) of Puerto-Rican musicians from New York, which in those days, did mean that you was going to get a more rhythmical intensity and a bit more dynamism out of your music. Those elements, with the quite classic Cuban style of songs make it for a PERFECT balance between the Puerto-Rican swing, and the Cuban musicality of the tunes.

The other GREAT thing about this Cd is that it's HIGHLY danceable, PRECISELY because of the extra swing which will also keep you fit because the shortest song lasts 7:53 mins!...

For the listener, there are GREAT solos on Vámonos Pa'l Monte from Gilberto "El Pulpo" Colón on Piano and Charlie Santiago on Timbales, from Charlie Rodríguez on Tres-Guitar in El Platanál De Bartólo, and ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING Flute solos improvised on the spot by Rodólfo González WHO I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS, OR WHY HE DIDN'T MAKE HIMSELF MUCH MORE FAMOUS!...

To top it of, you also get LOADS of varied musical passages!
After Charlie's Tres-guitar solo on El Platanál De Bartólo, the level and the excitement start to build up even more with exciting breaks, and more chorus variations like on the MAGISTRAL Oriente, (9:53 mins!) which starts for 15 secs. as a Danzón, then gets turned into what the song actually is (a Guajíra-Son) with "Tempo" Alomár doing a FINE job on vocals! Eventually, the Charanga (strings/flute) part comes through with different chorus variations again, and just at the end, when you least expect it, you get a FANTASTIC short 3rd part in the rhythm of Conga, introduced by Charlie's Tres-guitar with the classic: "Hay Carnavál, de Oriente me voy! Donde mejór, se puede gozár!?"

Eddie Palmieri & Ismael Quintana's tune Vámonos Pa'l Monte is not even worth mentioning a 2nd time so much that it is good (one of the best from the album), and Papá Montero, which after 3.30 mins, also goes through 2 different musical changes also with the "Buch'y Pluma na'má, eres tu" chorus, is ANOTHER GREAT TUNE which also includes higher levels of intensity as it goes on!...

This Cd for me is SUCH GREAT FUN to listen to, that I find it ABSOLUTELY PERFECT to set a party ON FIRE, precisely because of the consistent quality and swing that these EXCELLENT MUSICIANS DELIVER ALL THE WAY THROUGH FROM THE BEGINNING!

It's also the kind of album that could turn people who are not into Charanga into this practically forgotten Cuban musical genre!

SARANDANCE is a slightly less danceable and more traditionally Cuban style of Charanga recording (Eg. Charanga De La 4).
This means that the music will be a bit smoother, easier listening, and just a bit more musical than La Tapa for example.

I'm almost convinced that the line-up here is probably identical to the one from the Charanga De La 4 recordings with (I GUESS):

Alfredo Valdés Jr. (Piano & Direction), José A. Fajárdo (Flute), Félix "Pupi" Legarreta / Alfredo De La Fé (Violins), the late Maríno Soláno (Bass), Alberto Valdés (Conga-drum), Rafael "Felo" Barrio (Timbales & Choruses), and Roberto Torres (Production, Vocals, Choruses, and Gourd scraper).

The 1st tune Presénte Y Pasádo (by José A. Fajardo) is a cheesy/"funny" semi-childish tune that begins in a Danzonéte rhythm talking about `my mummy doesn't want me to have a girl, but despite that, I will have my girlfriend'.
For the remaining 9.30 mins, you WILL be rewarded with wonderful Charanga melodical musicalities, TOP-NOTCH Flute playing, and again, different change of choruses by GREAT Charanga vocalists!
I personally don't see the 9 mins go by everytime I hear this tune, SO MUCH THAT I enjoy it!...
It's TYPICAL Cuban Charanga musicality!

The last and 2nd tune Macorína, which includes more lead vocals by Roberto this time, offers 2 long solos by `Pupi' Legarreta on Violin, and Víctor Trías "El Chíno" on Tres-guitar (believe me, it sounds SO MUCH like them), varied chorus variations again, and at the end, Fajardo coming back on Flute to finish the tune of in real beauty!

Another GREAT typical and traditional style of Cuban Charanga recording by Roberto and SAR, which in my modest opinion, MUST NOT be missed out at all!

(The other good news is that the sound quality from this 1994 reissue is absolutely fine, with nothing to reproach!)

Musicans from Charanga La Tapa:

Gilberto "El Pulpo" Colon Piano
Bobby Rodriguez Bass
Rodolfo Gonzalez Flute
Felix Farrar Violin
Carl Ector Violin
Charlie Santiago Timbales
Danny Gonzalez Conga-drums
Mike Martinez Güiro (Gourd Scraper)
Charlie Rodriguez Tres-Guitar
Hector "Tempo" Alomar Lead Vocals & Choruses
Toni "Pupi Cantor" Torres Choruses

Hansel & Raul Producers
Eddie Martinez & Ray Aviles Executive Producers