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Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion: Danzonemos

Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion, the robust and dedicated Bay Area-based group founded in 1996 by percussionist Roberto Borrell, is doing its part championing Cuban musical tradition of early vintage. Its latest release, Danzonemos (Candela 42849302; 57:46), the stylistic subject is mainly the rarely-heard ballroom pulse of the style known as the danzon, with detours into cha-cha-cha and montuno, arranged by pianist Robert Karty for a versatile 11-piece ensemble. The danzon can be traced back to the influx of European influence brought to Cuba by Haitian refugees during that country’s revolution. It’s another example of music forged in the crossfire of European and indigenous cultural influences. The album’s track list on this album includes the venerable “El Bombin de Barretto,” by Jose Urfe. Salsa has become a fixture stateside, but earlier Cuban music is also beginning to gain momentum, thanks to projects like this one.

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