Stories » Pedrito Martinez' Rumba De La Isla | Downbeat Review June 2013

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Pedrito Martinez' Rumba De La Isla | Downbeat Review June 2013

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Pedrito Martinez
Rumba De La Isla
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Fans of Pedrito Martinez's current group should prepare to have some of their expectations blown on Rumba De La Isla. There's a different energy at work on the Cuba-born rumba master's interpretation shares de la Isla's forward-thinking approach, though his aim here processes the music through a lens of his artistry that seems to have much more impressive. His take on "Yo Vivo Enamorao," for exam-cries and the downward curled edges of certain lyrics-from emotive vocals to evocative percussion. Martinez's own clarion voice sweeps along improvised lyrics, calm and unwavering, as thick layers of rhythm intimate de la Isla's passion. "Dos Estrellas Relucientes De Las Alegre Primavera" also underscores the mellow beauty Martinez can unearth through this approach, as his soft touch on the congas and call-and-response vocals build against violinist Alfredo de la Fe's - Jennifer Odell

Rumba De La Isla: Que a Mi Me Vio De Nacer; Yo Vivo Enamorao; Dos Estrellas Relucientes De Las Alegre Primavera; Solo Vivo Pa'quererte; Volando Voy; Quiero Quitarme Esta Pena; No Naqueres  Na'De Mi; Gitana Te Quiero; Homenaje A Camaron. (50:15)

Personnel: Pedrito Martinez, composer, arranger, chekere, congas, cowbell, vocals; Román Díaz,  bata, cajon, spoons, vocals; John Benítez, bass; Piraña, cajon; Niño Josele, guitar, handclapping;  Alfredo de la Fe, electric violin; Xiomara Laugart, backing vocals; Abraham Rodríguez, backing vocals.