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Sample Track 1:
"Trabajala" from Roots Before Branches
Sample Track 2:
"Solo dos veces" from Roots Before Branches
Layer 2
Album Review

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Latin Beat Magazine, Album Review >>

Roots before Branches

Puerto Rican drummer Henry Cole takes Fela Kuti’s Afro Beat to the new millennium by combining the rootsy sounds of Boricua bomba and plena, Cuban rumba, and the urban energy of hip hop and rock with Lagos’ contagious dance beat. Recorded in Puerto Rico and New York City, this CD features a cast of luminary jazzistas such as reedmen David Sánchez, Miguel Zenón and John Ellis, and salseros like Piro Rodríguez and Cheito Quiñones, plus the raw-edge guitar work of Adam Rogers, among many others. Cole delivers a fresh and funky vision of everything rhythmic via evocative melodies, while pouring his heart and soul into each track. The recording is further enhanced by the delivery of spoken word and rap poetry (en español) by Hemes Ayala (who rocks the mic on the selection “Trabájala”) and Mara Pastor. But it was the groove of the organ-powered “Solo dos veces” that made me a believer. Cole lays down a tasty Afro-funk beat with a keen organic sense of timing and melody that demonstrates his dominion of the percussion idiom. “In the end, all the tracks come together in the spirit of play, like the upbeat jam session of “Old San Juan,” thus ‘capturing the sheer delight of making music that grooves, according to Cole’s own words. Other favorites include the tracks “No Eres Tú, Soy Yo”, and “Una Para Isabel”.  03/06/12 >> go there
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