Salsa Power

On her second release as a band leader, Colette Michaan demonstrates that you don’t have to be Cuban to play their rhythms with flavor. Armed with seven musicians and singers, Colette delves into a variety of Cuban rhythms from son to cha cha chá to danzón. With no horns in sight, the recording has more or less a charanga format making this stand out even more from its contemporaries. But it is ‘El montuno’ by the late maestro Emiliano Salvador that gets my vote as pure fire. This cut gives plenty of space for the musicians to do their thing. Edgar Pantoja on piano is quick and blazing. On the other hand Colette Michaan‘s flute solo is soft and aggressive, while Pedro Martínez on congas shows why he’s one of the most requested percussionists today.

It’s clear this group knows what they are doing: experimenting with rhythms but keeping it danceable. It’s a win – win for all.