domingo, 30 de noviembre de 2014

transito la nueva combinacion

Tránsito   “La Nueva Combinación”    (Premium Latin Music)  (Norte/Sony Discos)
     “La Nueva Combinación” es un álbum especial, una labor de amor, a falta de mejores palabras.  De acuerdo a Ángel Fernández, veterano trompetista de la salsa, y quien produjera y dirigiera esta grabación, este proyecto comenzó a cocinarse en 1997. En 2004, Fernández y Tony Avilés —uno de los productores ejecutivos— decidieron que el material grabado hasta el momento era muy bueno, y decidieron finalizarlo, haciendo algunos cambios, entre ellos usar otros cantantes.  El resultado es una producción preciosa y sabrosa, con buenos arreglos y grandes talentos.
     El CD arranca con la nostálgica  y apasionada “Aprenderán el idioma”, con la voz aterciopelada de Tito Allen, y con un arreglo salsero salpicado de sentimiento jíbaro.  Johnny Rivera y Ray Sepúlveda cantan el siguiente número, “Son Para Ustedes”, en homenaje al Gran Combo.  Por otro lado, Willie Colón y Héctor Lavoe son homenajeados con una nueva versión de “Ah-ah, o-no”, interpretada por George Lamond y Ernesto Escalona. Johnny Rivera regresa con “Si la ves”, otro clásico de Colón y Lavoe, y con un arreglo actualizado y original — una de mis favoritas. Otras predilectas son “Lo eres todo”, con la voz de Alexa Rojas, y solo de piano de Ricky González; “Maria Novela”, con el cantar de Tito Allen, y un solo de trompeta de Ite Jérez; y otra versión de “Esta Cobardía”, con la labor vocal del joven Luisito Figueroa Roig, quien pareciera tener buenas dotes de sonero.
     De acuerdo a Fernández, Tránsito significa movimiento, evolución, y gente yendo y viniendo. Este álbum representa este concepto muy bien, porque aquí se mezclan generaciones pasadas y presentes de nuestra música, como Bobby Allende, Marc Quiñones, Raúl Agraz, Ozzie Meléndez, Mario Rivera, Jimmy Bosch, Luisito Quintero, Eddie Martínez, y tantos otros. Si, señoras y señores, este es un trabajo muy especial y del corazón.

Headed up by salsa scene mainstay Angel Fernandez, who has worked with Obie Bermúdez and Michael Stuart, and served as musical director for Marc Anthony's band for over a decade, Transito's debut album is an intergenerational tour de force. Featuring salsa greats Ray Sepúlveda, Tito Allen, Alexa Rojas, George Lamond. and Johnny Rivera, the vocal lineup is a dream team of sorts. Featuring some of today's hitmakers alongside the pioneers of the style also boils over into the attitudes of the arrangements here. Classic salsa styles stand beside reggaeton loops and hints of timba funkiness. Unlike many all-star projects, the music is as engaging as the star power. Fernandez being one of the genre's strongest arrangers and producers, it will come as no surprise that Nueva Combinacion is sonically sparkling, and the band is among the very finest in salsa today. Transito's members include Bobby Allende, Marc Quiñones, Edy Martinez, Luis Quintero, Jimmy Bosch, Mario Rivera and a host of others. With a credits list like that, and leadership like Fernandez, Transito has a bright future before them. Albums like Nueva Combinacion mean sunny days ahead for salsa fans as well.

Song title
Aprenderán el Idioma 4:49
Son Para Ustedes 4:26
Ah-Ah, O-No 4:32
Si La Ves 4:45
Lo Eres Todo 4:48
María Novela 4:30
Preludio 0:25
Boricua con Sabor Cubano 4:42
Esta Cobardía 5:02
Solo 4:10
Si Usted Supiera Señora 4:42
Dime Si Llegué a Tiempo 4:29

Angel Fernandez Guitar, Trumpet, Arranger, Programming, Didjeridu, Producer, Engineer, Liner Notes, Coro, Executive Producer, Guiro, Adaptation, Mezcla
Aris Martinez Coro
Bobby Allende Percussion
Carlos Henríquez Bajo Sexto
Charlie Donato Composer
Dave Feliciano Engineer
Domingo Quiñones Composer
Eddie Martinez Piano, Arranger, Guest Appearance
Eddy Marrero Engineer
George Lamond Vocals, Coro
Guido Diaz Mezcla
Ite Jerez Trumpet, Guest Appearance
Jimmy Bosch Trombone
Joe King Coro
John Fausty Engineer
Johnny Torres Bajo Sexto
Jose Luis Estrada Engineer
José Tabares Bajo Sexto
Juan Gonzalez Piano
Juan Wust Engineer
Julio Salgado Composer
Junior Cepeda Composer
Junior Gonzalez Vocals
Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez Photography
Kurt Upper Mezcla
Lucho Cueto Arranger
Luisito Quintero Timbales
Marc Quiñones Percussion
Mario RiveraSax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Guest Appearance
Marti Cuevas Flute
Ozzie Melendez Trombone
Pablo Santaella Trombone
Pedrito Pérez Bajo Sexto
Pupy Santiago Coro
Raul Agraz Trumpet
Rene Leyva Arranger
Ricky Gonzalez Percussion, Piano, Arranger, Programming, Remixing, Drum Programming, Sintetizador
Ronnie Torres Engineer
Sammy García Conga
Tito Allen Vocals, Coro
Wichy Camacho Coro
Willie Colón Composer
Willie Ruiz Arranger, Coro, Adaptation

With the talent involved in this production you gotta figure, there's nothing that could ruin what should be a very good debut record for Grupo Transito.   Take a look.   The vocals are anchored by Tito Allen, Junior Gonzalez, Ray Sepulveda, Johnny Rivera, George Lamond, Alexa Rojas, and new comer Luisito Figueroa Roig.   Overseeing the arrangements done by Ricky Gonzalez, Lucho Cueto, Willie Ruiz, Rene Leyva, with a small cameo by Eddie Martinez; is Angel Fernandez.   The record is engineered and mixed to my liking.   It is quite a thick sounding record.   A rarity for what I've come to expect from Angel Fernandez.   His productions in the past have been very bright and thin for my taste.   The music is also quite simple and straight forward - Another rarity for Angel, since his past productions have been extremely busy sounding with just too much going on.   With lots of fender and snare work, Michael Stuart comes to mind.   At any rate - having said all the above, I'm extremely surprised that this production - with so much talent involved - is what it is.   Allow me to elaborate.   For starters the popular duo of Ray Sepulveda & Johnny Rivera - popular on the strength of one song that was recorded 13 years ago - is wasted by singing a tribute song to El Gran Combo.   That, in it of itself is not bad; though I would've preferred another type of song.   A hit song, instead of a filler.   Then in the stale norm that is re-doing and re-recording the hits of yesteryear, Grupo Transito showcases the talents of George Lamond, Ernesto Escalona, Alexa Rojas, and new comer Luisito Figueroa Roig in an almost note for note remake of Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe 's "Ah ah - O no", Celia Cruz' "Dime Si Llegue a Tiempo (bailen con la punta ‘el pie) ", and Frankie Ruiz' "Esta Cobardia" respectively.   Luisito Figueroa does offer a bit more bite than Frankie's version.   Continuing the throw-something- at-the-wall-hoping-it-sticks trend, Johnny Rivera is picked to sing another remake of another Willie Colon/Hector Lavoe song - "Si La Vez".   Gentlemen the creativity well is bone dry.   Junior Gonzalez does a standard issue rah-rah-I'm- Puerto-Rican type of song that, other than throwing a couple of good soneos and a soprano sax solo by Mario Rivera, does absolutely nothing.   It is a rather forgettable song.   But not all is grim for this Angel Fernandez production.   Tito Allen, the anchor of this wandering ship, sings what has to be one of the toughest songs to follow and to some degree understand.   Maybe it is so because it tells a story that doesn't dwell on anything romantic or erotic for a change.   Written by Angel Fernandez and arranged by Ricky Gonzalez, Tito sings about the anxiety a musician feels when out of the blue he is asked to travel to a foreign place and perform his music to an audience he knows nothing about.   It is an interesting song that kind of complicates itself by trying, at times, too hard to remain simple.   Tito also sings another song...   A more traditional and fun song about a woman named "Maria Novela".   Pretty much it's self explanatory.   Johnny Rivera turns in a decent performance on a song written by Anthony Rios.   He kind of saves face for the previously mentioned disappointment.   Even less grim are the pleasantly shocking surprises that are "Solo" and "Lo Eres Todo" respectively sung by George Lamond and Alexa Rojas.   George Lamond's salsa singing is mature and is pretty much uncluttered... Free of DLGisms.   Alexa Rojas - Formerly known simply as Alexa back in 1995 - unequivocally shines in what has to be her best song to date.   She sings the best song in the entire record.   Alexa, George Lamond, and Tito Allen are clearly carrying Angel Fernandez' Grupo Transito.   A little while back I took my wife out to dinner.   The place wasn't the best place in town, but it was convenient.   She ordered Shrimp Alfredo simply because "there's no way to ruin Shrimp Alfredo".   That got me thinking.   This record is absolutely not ruined, but it came awfully close.  

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