358

Bio Ritmo: Bio Ritmo

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Bio Ritmo: Bio Ritmo When you translate the word salsa into English, you get "sauce." The musical form of the same name comes in many flavors, from cheesy synth-pop to buttery jazzy jams. The salsa cooked up by Bio Ritmo is picante ("spicy"). The nonet features a vocalist (Rei Alvarez), a brassy four-horn front line, and a cohesive rhythm section consisting of piano, bass, and two drummers. It's a classic lineup and a classic sound, but never boring and never difficult.

At its roots, salsa is dance music. Period. Even if you only dance in your head, the clave virtually begs motion. Bio Ritmo exemplifies the rule perfectly—these are pure grooves from start to finish. The band, now on its fifth release, makes a big point about three things: first, this isn't the cheesy salsa your little cousin likes; second, the lyrics aim for fun and word play; and third, the group likes to incorporate musical elements that lie outside the mainstream.

All three are fair given the music here. Not being much of a Spanish speaker, I can't vouch for the poetic intricacies of the lyrics, but a Mexican friend assures me they are clever and fun. One thing many people neglect with this sort of music is the way the Spanish language lends itself to song. With short syllables that can be stretched out wherever desired, sharp consonants that never tie up your tongue, and that picante rolled double-r, it's insistently rhythmic and colorful.

The lineup is traditional, as is the sound, for the most part. Tim Lett's trumpet flies high, boosted by trombone and bass trombone, sharp and bright at all times. Vocalist Rei Alvarez exudes masculine energy and a certain suave sophistication. Bassist Jon Sullivan often settles into a groove with the percussionists, as is most appropriate for this music, but he does step out on the wack effected guitar (actually bass) on "Fabula." The outer space jam on "Para los Romperos" goes a little bit out before it returns solidly to two feet. The rhythm section takes the stage at the end of the song.

It's hard for me to remember a salsa experience that has been more light and fun than Bio Ritmo. This record came to me out of the blue, but hopefully listeners of all stripes will perk up their ears. It's pretty close to mandatory if you like yours picante.

¡Sabor!

Visit Bio Ritmo on the web.


Track Listing: El Monte; El Cambio; La Hamaca; Atrevete; Fabula; Hermano; Para los Romperos; El Rayito.

Personnel: Reinaldo Alvarez: Voz, Guiro; Giustino Riccio: Timbal, Bongo, Coro; Gabo Tomasini: Conga, Our President; Bob Miller: Trumpet, Coro; Tim Lett: Trumpet; Tobias Whitaker: Trombone; Stefanos Demetriadis: Bass Trombone; Jon Sullivan: Bass; Marlysse Simmons: Piano, Rhodes.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Locutor Records | Style: Latin/World


Shop

Bio Ritmo Events

Date Event Time
Feb25Sat Bio Ritmo
Subrosa
New York, NY
8:00 pm

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "The Sparrow" CD/LP/Track Review The Sparrow
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Love For Sale" CD/LP/Track Review Love For Sale
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Buena Vista Social Club" CD/LP/Track Review Buena Vista Social Club
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "Horizon Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Horizon Ahead
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 17, 2016
Read "Fierce Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Fierce Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Sunflower / Goodbye" CD/LP/Track Review Sunflower / Goodbye
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!