European based percussionist Gerardo Rosales has until now pretty much stayed in Latin jazz veins, framing jazz harmonies and melodic ideas inside the rhythms of his native Venezuela. Though there are some jazz oriented tracks on his 2002 release, evidently Rosales has found a new focus, a new reason to live. Salsa Es Mi Vida, just as one might expect by the title, is straight-up New York style salsa. Though it was recorded in Rosales' home country of Holland, there's more than a little of the Big Apple in this disc. With players like Ralph Irizarry, Yosvany Terry Cabrera, Luis Perdomo (fellow Venezuelan) Marlon Simon, Robert Quintero and several other New Yorkers, this is as much a U.S. production as otherwise. The arrangements are fair, but not excellent, as are most of the performances. One of the downfalls of being cut off from a larger musical community, as Rosales must be in Holland, is that "as usual" can truly become good enough. There are some players that excel on foreign soil (like Orlando Poleo, another Venezuelan percussionist now living in France) but often times creative fires are cooled by European climates and lack of collaborators. Such may have been the case with Salsa Es Mi Vida, which though it is a pleasant listen, lacks creative spark.
AllMusic Review by Evan C. Gutierrez