Arsenio Rodríguez

Arsenio Dice/La Pachanga

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One CD including a pair of Arsenio Rodriguez's final albums, both recorded for Tico, is a godsend for fans of Cuban music. Even nearing the age of 70, Rodriguez needed little in the way of crossover material to appeal to Latin fans of the late '60s. His sones montuno were as driving and exciting as the punch of Willie Colon or Eddie Palmieri's salsa arrangements, and they'd lost little impact since he'd developed them in the late '30s and early '40s. Such songs as "Mi Corazon No Tiene Quien Lo Llore" and "Esto Es Yambu" (from Arsenio Dice...) and "Que Te Parece Juana" (from La Pachanga) showcase the elegant tres playing of Rodriguez, alternated with slower ballads like "Pasion Extrana."

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