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Beyond Salsa Piano is a history and anthology of the role of the piano in the Cuban rhythm section – from its first appearance to the present. In a broader sense, it’s a study of the tumbao – the art of creating music from layers of repeating rhythmic and melodic phrases. Whether these syncopated figures are called tumbaos, guajeos, montunos, riffs or vamps, this Afro-Cuban concept lies at the heart of nearly every popular music genre from salsa to rock , funk, R&B, hiphop and jazz.

While presented as a set of method books, the series doubles as a history course and record collecting guide for listeners, dancers, and players of instruments other than the piano.

Perhaps the most important goal of the series is to provide a comprehensive understanding of how tumbaos are constructed, their central role in the texture of Latin music of all eras, and the endless possibilities they provide for creative composing and arranging.
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Recoje Y Vete

Artist:   Maykel Blanco y su Salsa Mayor

Style Released Album Tracks Charts
Timba 2006 11 0
Buy_now

$10.99

© 2006 Envidia Producciones. All rights reserved.
Audio album download includes album tracks, liner notes and cover art.
All audio tracks in MP3-VBR format. About LPM album downloads.
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# Name Play Time Info
01  Esto Está
Alternative text
5:49 Maikel Blanco - Piano, timbal, teclado y coro
02  Recoge Y Vete
Alternative text
4:15 Roy Sainz, Arnaldo Jiménez - Piano, Bajo
03  Qué Tengo
Alternative text
4:31 Javier Ortiz, Oslién Hernández - Batería, Conga
04  Quitándome Lo Malo
Alternative text
5:12 Orlando Leliebre, J. Mustelier - Flauta
05  Años
Alternative text
4:27 Frank Padrón, Jesús A. Chappottin - Trompeta
06  Brujería
Alternative text
4:13 Ulises Benavides, Orlando Montaner - Trombón
07  Cambia Tu Faceta
Alternative text
5:53 Boris Luna, Dagoberto González Jr. - Teclado, Violín
08  Si Quieres, Quiéreme
Alternative text
4:56 Carlos Amores, Angel Abreu - Guiro
09  Cimarrón
Alternative text
5:46 Lester Ciarreta, Coco Freeman - Coros
10  Lo Bello Por Dentro
Alternative text
4:55 Lázaro Maya, Ciso Guanche - Coros
11  Si Yo Pudiera
Alternative text
4:54 Yordi Larrabazanbi - Coros
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While some timba groups today seem to be doubting their own music and trying to reach audiences by looking outside the Cuban musical tradition -performing timbaton or songs with a more pan-Caribbean sound- with the popularity of Recoge y vete, Salsa Mayor's debut album, has proved that audiences are still hungry for 100% classic Cuban timba.

Review of Recoje y vete by Michelle White of www.TIMBA.com

Maykel Blanco y Su Salsa Mayor are all about making you dance and their début album proves that they mean business. The first line of the opening song sums it up: "Ven, que quiero darte lo mejor de mí y conquistar toda tu alma. Que cantes, que bailes, que goces conmigo hasta mañana". Recoge y vete is packed with hits from start to finish, and it is a dancer's dream. Of the eleven songs on the CD, ten will fill the dance floor. Only the last song on the CD, which is timba romantica, is unlikely to throw dancers into a frenzy.

With the exception of Pablo Milanes' Años, the compositions and arrangements are all by Maykel and feature a charanga format with violin and flute as well as trombone and trumpet. Both Esto está and Recoge y vete include great flute solos. Maykel's appreciation of traditional Cuban music is reflected in his arrangements. But being a product of the timba generation and having a background as a percussionist before switching to piano, the songs are packed with hot bloques, funky bass, played by Arnaldo Jiménez, and tumbaos that hook the listener.

Maykel taught himself to play piano "out of necessity", and the influences of Pupy can be heard in Maykel's use of "contrary motion" in his tumbaos, while some of the mambos and the rhythms of the coros bring to mind Los Van Van. However, I would never confuse Salsa Mayor with either of the aforementioned groups.

Because the CD has so many great dance songs, it's hard to pick any favorites, but I will mention a few. The first song, Esto está, is brilliant. It captures the dancer instantly and sets the tone for the album, laying down a strong groove with a catchy melody. The song has brought the expression "esto está pa' comer y pa' llevar" back into vogue and has been a huge hit for the band both in Cuba and Europe.

The title track, Recoge y vete, is about son and is, in fact, excellent for dancing either son or casino. That being said, it is simultaneously serious timba, with all the requisite breaks and gear changes for getting your despelote on and even a false ending to which the appropriate response is Eh, ¿se acabó?. This tune is an amusing trip through time with the singers dressed to represent the various eras from the golden era of son to the psychedelic 70s to today.

Next Salsa Mayor ups the tempo with another hot dance track, Qué tengo, which increases the pace to about 108 BPM, mucho cuída'o, and features a hot timbal solo.

Other songs that have been favorites of the DJs are Brujería, Cambia tu faceta and Lo bello por dentro, a non-politically correct song about a girl with a great body but an ugly face: Tú tienes cuerpo bonito pero la cara es pantosa. Well, what can I say? Timberos have never been known for their sensitivity.

Cimarrón is interesting because it starts with a batá-jazz feeling for the first 55 seconds before kicking into dance mode. For those who aren't familiar with thje historical reference, cimarrón was a name used for runaway slaves.

Songs in a more romantic vein are: Años, Si quieres, quiéreme and Si yo pudiera. The latter is a full-fledged timba romantica. Except for the short guitar intro it is still quite danceable at about 96 BPM, but still it feels soft, something a DJ will play at the end of the night to help the dancers gently come down from their high. The lyrics are very sweet and towards the end of the song a chorus of children sings the coro, which really completes the "sweet" feeling.

With this album Maykel Blanco has stepped firmly into the territory of serious timba. Recoge y vete is a supercharged dance album and rates among the best releases of 2006 alongside the first-line timba groups leaving no doubt that this young band is a force to be reckoned with. I recommend it wholeheartedly.