Roberto Roena

La 8va. Maravilla

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One of Roberto Roena's most progressive albums, there is plenty of creativity and excitement in the production, thanks to Julio "Gunda" Merced, Papo Lucca, Jorge Millet, and Luis "Perico" Ortiz, whose creative minds are given free rein for the recording's unbeguiling spontaneity. Tracks include "Amistad Barata" and "Para Ser Rumbero," which were composed by Rubén Blades (watch out for his surprise appearance in the latter tune); "No lo Corras" (one of Louis Garcia's earliest salsa arrangements); the kooky, Roena hits medley "Apollo Theme"; and the shatteringly explosive "Hora Cero" (arranged by Jorge Millet, who narrates the introduction, too). Spectacular, to say the least.

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