Listening to this album is difficult to recall how small this big sounding Charanga ensemble is. Charangas are a type of musical group, originally from Cuba but with distinctive developments beyond Cuban shores, mostly led by a frontline of violins a rhythm section and singers.
Varieties of feel in this album have in stock Bomba, the Rumba family, Jazz, ChangüÃ-, Guaguancó, and more. Swinging tightness keeps the vigorous pocket caressing responsible musical freedom through it all.
Havana serves as artistic backdrop for the liner notes, anchoring this work in its venerable string and skin based ongoing legacy. Nothing is taken for granted in the execution. No melody is wasted, no percussive golpe sounds invasive, no hot air is blown for its own sake, no wasted techno-fetishism in its respective solo domains. It just sounds good.
Artie Webb's manly flute playing is of particular note. The testosterone and progesterone levels are ergonomically correct, adjusting themselves to the heart of the tasks throughout the album. In essence, Webb's handling of the holes in the object in his mouth epitomizes the reasoning behind Bongo-Logic, i.e., tÃ-phip, for "tÃ-pico-hip. The guajiro, or countryside dweller, brushing the sweat off his brow, in a 21st Century field, gratified by the expectation of a night's dance in a cool club awaiting after sundown, would stand as an anthropomorphic representation of Bongo-Logic's neurology.
It is illogical to ignore the danceability level of Hispanic music in its analyses. Music can become ingrown, and in need of surgery and healing, when merely becoming a tool for ethnic opportunistic soap boxing. When the Thou figures prominently in the I of the overall production, the sociology of the music changes. Including the Other in the musical discourse has to incorporate some conduct for participation, expression and communication. Dancing is but one of those; and this record's level, by the way, is high. This is music to have a good cool sizzling time.