Various Artists: Rumbón Navideño

Track List

>Canto A Borínquen - Willie Colón
>Yo Me Tomo El Ron - Chuito el de Bayamon
>Mí Tía María - Ismeal Rivera
>Eliminación De Feos - Ramito
>En La Navidad - Daniel Santos/Héctor Lavoe/Yomo Toro
>Vamonos De Fiesta - Impacto Crea
>Aguinaldo Antillano - La Sonora Ponceña
>Noche De Paz - Santitos Colon
>La Murga - Willie Colón
>Bembé En Casa De Pinki - Richie Ray/Bobby Cruz
>Me La Gozo Entera - Cheo Feliciano
>La Campana Del Lechón - Rafael Cortijo
>El Cantar De Un Borincano - Impacto Crea
>Recomendación - Héctor Lavoe/Willie Colón
>Bomba De Navidad - Ismeal Rivera
>Una Plena En Navidad - Mon Rivera

Album Notes

Rumbón Navideño is a companion volume to the mostly killer Navidad en el Barrio (Christmas in the Barrio). Containing many tracks by the same artists -- Hector "El Cantate" Lavoe, Willie Colón, Richie Ray, Ismael Rivera -- and some others, this looks back to an early time in Latin music. As such, it succeeds: most of the tunes are what one would expect from a rhumba Christmas recording, wildly celebratory and soulful, rhythmically sophisticated, upbeat, and full of wonderful chanted vocals as well as solos. The spirit of the season bursts from the seams of the recording with delight. That said, it isn't as engaging as a whole musically as its companion piece for the simple reason that salsa, by its very nature, is perhaps the most rhythmically addictive music in the Western world. However, this set is much rawer, filled with a very specific kind of folksy energy that later productions couldn't touch; there is a graininess in the voice of Santitos Colón on "Noche de Paz" that makes the tune nearly seductive in its power. The acoustic six- and 12-string guitars on any number of these cuts -- such as Willie Colón's "Recomendación" and Impacto Crea's "Vamonos de Fiesta" -- are dizzying and sultry despite the celebratory nature of the music. This is a fine volume on its own, but when Rumbón Navideño and Navidad en el Barrio are assembled together, they become an unbeatable, steamy yet worthy addition to any holiday music library. ~ Thom Jurek


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