Personnel: Louis García (guitar, tres); Luis Rafael Torres, Angel Torres (tenor saxophone); Jose Ruiz, Tommy Villariny, Carlos "Coamito" Martínez , Angel "Angie" Machado (trumpet); Rafy Torres, Jerry Rivas, Jorge Diaz (trombone); Luis Marin (piano); Ramón Sánchez (keyboards); Gerardo Rivas (congas, bongos, timbales); Sammy García (congas, bongos); Rafael "Tito" Echevarria (bongos); Charlie Sierra (percussion).
Recording information: Rolo Studio's.
Photographer: Gerardo Bello.
On his 26th offering, Gilberto Santa Rosa (aka El Caballero de la Salsa) delivers a modern collection of boleros and salsas that rely as much on production techniques as on his wonderful voice. The compressed horns and keyboards can be a bit disconcerting at first -- especially on the ballads such as "Guerra Fría" and "El Ultimo Bolero" -- but it wears off after a few moments. After all, studio compression seems to be the mark of modern pop salsa. That complaint aside, Santa Rosa's voice is timeless in its passion, control, and expressiveness. Whether he's delivering a pop tune ("¿Estás Ahí?") or an old-school dancefloor burner ("Cuando a Ti Te de la Gana"), his baritone is crystalline. Other highlights on the set include the fiery "Si Yo Fuera Tú" and the electronic pop groover "La Cremita." ~ Thom Jurek