Lita Branda and Melcochita with Jos: Hermanos de la Salsa (1998)
Often times we wonder why some excellent LP has not find its way into CD format. Fortunately, In 1998, this hard swinging Salsa 1980 recording was finally updated to the new format. Originally issued under the title “Con sabor” or With Taste, this recording is a fine example of the latter part of the heydays of Salsa in New York.
Picture, if you may, dance parties in your living room where the guests are having a ball dancing to hard-core Salsa with a distinctive New York feel. Season such imagined scene with a bit of Charanga, i.e., Cuban violin led danceable grooves. Add some obvious insinuations of Cuban guajiro or countryside music. Then throw in significant measures of a sorely missed ingredient in today's Salsa: improvisation, both vocal and instrumental, and you might get close to experience an imaginary version of this reissue.
Why just imagine it? Allow Lita, who is still active in the Washington, D.C. area, to ravish you with her strong and true sonera, or vocal improvisations. Her brother, who has also hosted a popular Peruvian television program that mixes Salsa with humor, is a unique treat to say the least. Both might be the most significant Peruvian contributors to the Salsa world and Lita, who is a conga player, although she is not featured as such in this album. José Mangual's tight ensemble rounds up a winning formula for nice memories as most of the musicians are among the best of their kind.
Track Listing: 1 Sonera en Nueva York 2. Hermanos de la Salsa 3. Popurr
Personnel: Bass-Andy Gonz
Record Label: En Clave Records