Baile Escocia


Selecting 20 tracks was really hard, and there were many that didn’t quite make the cut. Here’s those that I short listed, but didn’t quite make the cut - classics every one:

Pio Mentiroso - Afro-Cuban All Stars                                        Noche de Rumberos - Miguel Cruz y Skins

Ave Maria Lola - Conjunto Imagen                                          Solo Fue un Noche - NG2

En El Aire - Croma Latina                                                        Mueve la Cintura Mulata - Omara Portunondo

El Preso - Fruko y Sus Tesos                                                     Swing la Moderna - Ray Barratto

Cali Pachanguero - Galileo y su Banda                                    Mama Kiyelele - Ricardo Lemvo y Makina Loca

La Pantera Mambo - La-33                                                      Patria - Ruben Blades

La Salsa y El Guaguanco - La Excelencia                                 Fragilidad - Sting

Thinking of You - Lenny Kravitz (Emilio Estefan remix)               El Cuarto de Tula - Truco y Zaparoko

Merecumbe - Los Titanes                                                         No Have Falta Nada - Victor Manuelle

Es Solo Musica - Mamborama                                                 El Yo-Yo - Wayne Gorbea’s Salsa Picante

Fuego a la Jicotea - Marvin Santiago                                       Salsa - Yuri Buenaventura


PLaylist for those new to Salsa (Part 2)

4 May 2012

La Receta by Johnny Polanco

Salsa Dura - hard salsa - features driving rhythms and pulsing horns. West coast based Johnny Polanco produced a classic dura song in New York style.

Ven Devorame Otra Vez by Lalo Rodríguez

In the 1990s romantica became the most popular salsa style. While much of it was manufactured the same way many pop songs of the time were, it still produced some outstanding songs. Although the lyrics, like much of the genre, may not be entirely romantic, the smooth voice of Lalo Rodriguez created the most memorable romantica track.

Timpop con Birdland by Los Van Van

Los Van Van are probably the most recognised post revolution Cuban band. Founded in 1969, they have pushed Cuban salsa into more than one new direction incorporating rock, funk, disco and hip hop and helped create the timba sound. While this song can seem like a marathon to new dancers, it brings out everything that has made Los Van Van great.

Valio la Pena by Marc Anthony

Marc Anthony was one of the artists who emerged in the 1990s who straddled both the pop and salsa worlds. His 2004 album of the same name contains some superb modern salsa tracks, many of them adding some punch to songs apparently rooted in the romatica genre. This song has a harder edge and really rocks. Watch out for the fade that isn’t the end!

Lady by Orquesta la Palabra

There have been many attempts to record salsa versions of pop songs. Most, unfortunately, don’t work very well but this is one of the exceptions. Unfortunately Orquesta la Palabra were really a one-hit-wonder, but what a hit. Smooth!

Micaela by Sonora Carruseles

Originally the B-side of Pete Rodriguez’s I Like it Like That, this remake by the Columbian Sonora Carruseles has become the definitive version. Boogaloo was a popular salsa form in the 60s, but Columbians found it rather slow so played their 33rpm LPs at 45 rpm. This version does something similar, but still keeps a very danceable pace.

Pueblo Latino by Spanish Harlem Orchestra

Spanish Harlem Orchestra, led by Oscar Hernandez, have been at the forefront of New York salsa music for the last decade. This track, from their debut album Un Gran Dia in el Barrio, epitomises all that is good about salsa dura.

Note: the video is a live version about twice as long as the recorded version which I couldn’t find on YouTube.

Ran Kan Kan by Tito Puente

One of the Mambo Kings, Tito Puente was a percussionist and band leader who made his name in the 1950s. A star of the Palladium, the dance hall in New York at the heart of the mambo craze, he has been prolific, producing huge numbers of great songs. Despite that, this track is easily his best. Driven from start to end, it makes any salsero want to dance.

Avisale a mi Contrario by Tito Rodríguez

Another of the Mambo Kings (the third being Machito), Tito Rodríguez was a Puerto Rican singer who’s good looks and smooth voice helped establish him in New York in the 1940s. Often producing blazing uptempo numbers, and despite following a lot of fads, he produced a classic mambo sounds. This is both a dancers & artists favourite with many covers floating around in different styles but this is the original and still the best.

La Murga by Willie Colón

Willie Colon was the young trombone playing band leader who was amongst the first of Fania’s signings. His work with both Hector Lavoe & Ruben Blades epitomised the best of that era. While Lavoe sings on this track, it is Colon’s trombone that sticks in the memory. Strangely this track first appeared on a Christmas album!