129

Grupo Afro Boricua: Bombazo

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Dizzy Gillespie would have loved this. No Jazz to speak of, at least as we normally employ the term, but an abundance of captivating and colorful Latin rhythms from Puerto Rico, home of Grupo Afro Boricua and its director, William Cepeda. Grupo Afro, it says in the liner notes, is a leading exponent of Puerto Rico’s traditional musical forms, the bomba and plena, the former composed of rhythmic variations that grew out of the African slave experience in colonial Puerto Rico, the latter a style of popular music that emerged in towns along the coast at the turn of the century (20th, that is) and consists of spontaneously improvised lyrics with choral refrain. If you’re at all confused by any of this, it is spelled out clearly in the liner notes, which provide a musical synopsis (in English and Spanish) for each of the 14 songs. Also included are descriptions of each of the rhythm instruments: the cúa, bomba drum, maraca típica, güiro jibaro, pandereta and tumbander! o. Much of the music is vocal as well as rhythmic, and the vocals are also in Spanish. As would be expected, there is a strong African influence throughout, with drums predominating in an impassioned call–and–response format between soloist and chorus. There is only one horn, director Cepeda’s trombone, and it is seldom heard. This is music that must be as much fun to play as it is to hear. Devotees of world music, especially that of Africa and Latin America, should find much to savor and cherish in Bombazo.

Track listing: Afro Boricua; Yubá Medley; Seshuque y Balance; San Tomás; El Gallo Canta; El Conde de Loíza; Amalia (No Quiere Ir Ebozo); Melitón Tombé; Rulé son Da; Majestad Negra; El Doctor Güenaga; Lamento Borincano; Seis Corrido Medley; El Belén (52:01).

Personnel:

William Cepeda, music director, conch shell, trombone, piano, vocals; Antonio Martinez, principal vocalist; Nellie Lebron, lead vocals, bass guitar; Roberto Cepeda, vocals; Hector Matos, percussion, lead vocals; Hector Calderon, percussion, vocals; Luis Cepeda, Angel Mojica, percussion; Harry Diaz, vocals on

| Record Label: Blue Jackel | Style: Latin/World


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Parrhésie" CD/LP/Track Review Parrhésie
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 17, 2016
Read "Double Septet" CD/LP/Track Review Double Septet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Makes My Heart Sway" CD/LP/Track Review Makes My Heart Sway
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Detour" CD/LP/Track Review Detour
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 26, 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!