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Juan Pablo Torres - Algo Nuevo LP



Next up in the Mr Bongo Cuban Classics series is an outing by the mighty Juan Pablo Torres from 1978. Released on Cuba's state-owned Areito imprint, Algo Nuevo showcases trombonist, bandleader, arranger and producer Juan Pablo Torres' unique scope of sound. A melting pot of an album that weaves together jazz-funk and traditional Afro-Cuban genres with tripped-out synth touches and dancefloor grooves.

The opener 'Pan Caliente' is a fiery celebration, combining a driving groove with Latin percussion, feverish horns and infectious "la-la-la" vocals. The wild, squelching cosmic synthlines give an otherworldly touch to proceedings that sit nicely on a modern dancefloor. 'Guajira 2001' is perhaps Juan's future-focussed take on the vibrant style of Cuban dance-led music called guajira. Blistering bongos, congas and claves moving together with trumpets, trombones and twanging acoustic guitars that you can't help but bounce to. Other highlights include, 'Cacao', a Cuban cosmic funk strutter that places the claves upfront, with a scatting vocal line and percussive climax reminiscent of George Kranz electronic disco anthem 'Din Daa Daa' from 1983.

Elsewhere, 'Elvira' further showcases the psychedelic essence of many of the album's tracks. A deep Latin workout where tasty percussive breaks and scorching keys blend with trippy vocals and rumbling synths. A varied album encompassing a variety of Afro-Cuban genres and rhythms entwined with flashes of mind-bending cosmic influence. Algo Nuevo is a further jewel in Cuba's musical crown of riches, with plenty of dancefloor treats and downtempo numbers held within.

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