Tito Nieves

Hoy, Manana y Siempre

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Crown prince of the New York sound, Tito Nieves continues to define himself as the most contemporary, modern voice in salsa. At a time when most other salseros with credibility tend to play their cards close to the chest, hoping to retain their purist fan base, Nieves shrugs his shoulders and says, "Reggaeton? Why not?" While Gilberto Santa Rosa and Oscar d'León stay safely inside the walls of salsa as usual, Nieves invited artists like Fat Joe and Miguel Play to collaborate on his anything but safe release Hoy, Manana y Siempre. The ubiquitous Sergio George and famed Jorge Luis Piloto also weigh in as producers/arrangers for the ambitiously titled project. As could be expected, the straight-ahead salsa tracks, which hark back to Nieves' days with salsa legend Hector Lavoe, are joyous and rich. His vocals are as thick and tuneful, ever earning his nickname, the Pavarotti of Salsa. Though a bold move for a salsa artist, Nieves' collaboration with Fat Joe, "Terremoto," is underwhelming. It seems to have nothing at all to do with Nieves and everything to do with marketing. The second attempt at reaching new blood, "Si Yo Fuera El" proves much more fruitful, finding an excellent balance between stripped-down reggaeton aesthetics while still capitalizing on Nieves' vocals. Dedicated fans will be pleased and new disciples won over thanks to this daring, intelligent effort.

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