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  1. #1
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    Default My take on the best Latin music (includes one Dominican)

    The first time I really listened to Latin music was in 1991, when my then-girlfriend lent me her aunt's tape of "Bachata Rosa." (I still have it, by the way.) Although I was never a fan of fast, danceable music, I immediately recognized the presence of a great talent. Something about it -- the quality of the songwriting, the sincerity of the approach, JLG's wonderful voice -- really set it apart from the typical stuff I would sometimes hear on the radio.

    Since then, I've bought all of his albums, even "Para Ti," which (at first) turned me off with its evangelical Christian approach. Now, however, I really like it -- favorites are "Cancion de Sanidad" and the title track. I'd have to rank JLG as #3 in my favorites list, though. Numbers one and two are:

    1. Silvio Rodriguez. I've never heard music with such emotional power. So wonderful! Favorites: Sueno con Serpientes, La Gota de Rocio, Nuestro Tema ... hundreds of others. He captures the very essence of the human spirit.

    2. Pablo Milanes. His best songs -- "Verde Manana," "La Soledad," etc. -- really, really move me. Pure gold.

    Other favorites are:

    Joaquin Sabina. "Quien Ha Robando El Mes de Abril" is an amazing song, and he has lots of others as well.

    Zeca Baleiro. Brazilian multi-talented guy ... does something completely different each time he releases an album. Check out "Minha Casa" from "Liricas."

    Rosario Flores. I love her voice, her brassy style and her mix of flamenco and pop.

    Carlos Varela. Another great Cuban artist ... like a mix of Silvio and Sabina.

    Ruben Blades. "Mundo," his most recent album, is an incredible mix of Celtic, Middle Eastern and Latin music. I also like his classic salsa stuff.

    Willie Colon. Great voice, great musician.

    Milton Nascimento. Brazilian God who makes music that touches the soul.

    Other notables are Chico Buarque, Marisa Monte, Joao Gilberto, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil (all Brazilian). Any good Latin music I've missed?

  2. #2
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    Arrow Some obscure picks of mine

    You certainly have an interesting diversity in your Latin music preferences. It shows you are embracing the spectrum of genres that Latin music has to offer. Hats off to you.There are many great Cuban musicians that you may like and are not aware of. Ranging from son cubano to guaracha to cha-cha-cha.

    I definitely agree with your choice of Willie Colón. He's a hall of fame candidate and certainly a renowned 'trombonista'. Also, one of the original Fania All Stars who developed 'salsa' (which stemmed from el son cubano) in New York along with Hector Lavoe. Willie Colón is distinct and unmistakeable. His musicianship is outstanding in all his work but in one song in particular Idilio he gives his fans a sample of the best of his musical ability.

    I will suggest if I may:

    Albita Rodríguez- tremendous voice, Cuban son is her primary rhythm but certainly has a tint of other genres in her music. Suggested recent albums: Son & Hecho a mano.

    Héctor Lavoe- if you like Willie Colón then you will like Lavoe. Actually they were a duo for a while until Willie launched his solo career. Many of Willie Colón's earlier work was with this artist.

    Carlos Vives- vallenato moderno. Same as above. Tremendous talent, a unique artist. Modern day vallenato popularity even among the youth is attributed to Carlos having changed the style of vallenato but maintaining traditional beats. Recommended albums: La tierra del olvido & El amor de mi tierra.

    Charlie Zaa- bolerista. This artist has mastered the art of contemporary bolero. He's just a class act. Any album by him is a good buy. I highly recommend his latest album Puro Sentimiento. It's a combination of wonderful acoustics, a fusion rhythms and he is an excellent vocalist.

    Classic salsa: An absolute must is El Gran Combo (de Puerto Rico). If you don't own music from this band please sample their work. I will suggest their most recent album... Aquí estamos....y De Vedad & Por todo lo alto (this album I saw once in 1996 and I never saw it again anywhere. What an album!).

    Conjunto Imagen- acoustically this is some of the best salsa out there. Once again from Puerto Rico. Their most recent album is a good start- Ayer, Hoy y Manaña.

    Issac Delgado- by my definition Issac is a living legend. He is a sonero, salsero and timbalero. His music is an example of the essence of Cuban rhythms. Any album in the last ten years would be a great buy. My suggestions: Prohibido (2005), Versos en el cielo (2004), Otra Idea (1997).

    My suggestion for Dominican rhythms is the classic music then move forward to some selective modern day artists.

    Keep enjoying the art of music.

    LDG.
    Last edited by Marianopolita; 11-17-2005 at 08:25 AM. Reason: typos & to add suggestions

  3. #3
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    If you like Sabina you'll like Luis Eduardo Aute, although you probably already know him from his 'Mano a Mano' CD in concert with Silvio.

    The one and only Joan Manuel Serrat?

    Rosario I also like, as well as Kiko Veneno who also mixes flamenco and pop with a certain amount of humour.

    Not much to add on that definitive list of Brazilians, but how about non-Brazilian Lusophones like Waldemar Bastos (Angola) and Cesaria Evora (Cape Verde)?

    I'll definitely look out for that new CD by Ruben Blades. I've always liked his stuff as well. Like JLG he brings satire and wit to the mix.

    On the DR music scene, if you haven't already heard Pavel Nunez who has risen to fame here over the last few years, you will note an unmistakable Nueva Trova influence there.

  4. #4
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    what about
    EL GRUPO AGUAKATE. now thats the stuff.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up This is what makes Dominican music so special.....

    There is something for everyone...Dominican music has a melting pot of different styles...Juan luis is just another peace of that enriched history of Domincan music...My all time personel favorites have been interpreting quality music for the longest time...but they have not been given the support from the international community...My all time favorite Dominican artist is Ramon Orlando,, there will never be another band like it...He is truly to me.. an original Dominican musical legend!

  6. #6
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    I would add Victor Victor, Sonia Silvestre, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Xiomara Fortuna, Patricia Pereyra, Manuel Jimenez and Luis Diaz (dominicans), Simone, Vinicio de Moraes (brazilians) Mirian Ramos (Cuban) Victor Manuel, Ana Belen, Azucar Moreno and Pedro Guerra (spanierds)

  7. #7
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    I dont have a refined sense of my own for latin music. I have been led to the ones i like based on my girlfriends likes....which I have liked most of the same after I have heard them.

    pedro fernandez, Obie fernandez,luis fonsi, luis miguel, charlie zaa, juanes,los temerrarios, alex ubago, jose jose,anthony santos, tono rosario,alejandro fernandez, jerry riverra. of those I really concure with jose jose, and alex ubago, and luis miguel.........bob

  8. #8
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    I love aventura - obsession and don miguelo - la cola de motora.. that count?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by REALDOMINICAN
    what about
    EL GRUPO AGUAKATE. now thats the stuff.
    Come on! They are talking about Ruben Blades, Juan Luis Guerra, and Willie Colon. How dare you mention Aguakate? LOL

  10. #10
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    Oh Man, I love Luis Miguel. I saw his concert two weeks ago and it was the bomb.

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