No singer has contributed more to the Afro-Cuban sound than the great Celia Cruz. On this CD she pays homage to the roots of the music that she has made famous. The queen of salsa shows her royal authority over other dance music as well, such as the mambo, the rhumba, the cha-cha, the calypso, and the samba. All are based on the polyrhythmic sound which originated in Africa and transported itself to the new world. Unlike their brothers and sisters to the north, people of African descent in the Caribbean were not forbidden the use of the drum. Drumming rhythms therefore developed into amazing permutations, many of which show up in the music and singing style of Cruz. The warm and vivacious Celia Cruz found her personal inspiration in the Afro-Cuban singing of Pauline Alvarez. Decades of practice and performing have honed the vocal skills of Celia Cruz into a formidable instrument that speaks life and love in every song. This CD captures the richness and range of the exuberant Afro-Cuban sound on such songs as "Ipso Calypso," "Chacha la Negre," "Cumbanchero," "Canto a Yemayo," and "La Rumba Es Mejor." To hear "Buenos Noches Mi Amor" is to be transported into the languorous arms of romantic love, as Celia Cruz wraps her musical magic around any listener willing to succumb to her seductive Afro-Cuban charms.
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AllMusic Review by Rose of Sharon Witmer