Irakere & Chucho Valdes

Indestructible

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Track Listing

    Track Title

    Time

  1. Pare Cochero 4:28
  2. Indestructible 3:38
  3. La Mujer 4:52
  4. Como Fue 3:33
  5. El Viandero 3:15
  6. La Peleona 4:50
  7. Keysi 3:47
  8. Te Doy 4:20
  9. Serenata en Batanga 3:33
  10. La Pastora 3:44

Review

Perhaps one of the finest Latin jazz units of all time decided to set out to record a straight-ahead salsa album. The result, though confounding to some die-hard Irakere fans, was one very fine salsa record. With some of the most confident performances, brilliantly written horn lines, and swinging rhythms found anywhere in the salsa world, Irakere exposes itself as a more versatile group than many may have thought. For those lovers of the Irakere of yesteryear, bathed in fuzz tone guitars and a disco-solid drum set, Indestructible could be a difficult transition to make. Musical director Chucho Valdés is not pushing many stylistic envelopes with this straight-down-the-middle salsa record. Valdés has raised the bar for quality on many levels, however. His piano performance distinguishes him as a modern-day master. Though never obtrusive or flashy, his taste and skill are hard to miss. Any seasoned salsa listener will recognize the sophistication of both the writing and instrumental performance right away. The sultry, sensitive boleros "Como Fue" and "Serenata en Batanga," with every rough edge smoothed away, go down like a fine cognac. The title cut and "El Viandero" have a reserved elegance that is lacking in much of today's salsa. Though Irakere seems to be keeping its cards a little closer to the chest than usual, Indestructible is not only a great opportunity to get to know one of Cuba's most influential groups in a new way, but also to find out what can be done with salsa in the hands of the masters. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi

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