Ismael Rivera

Los Dos Granes de Siempre

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One problem with music is that one tends to think too much of musicians in terms of a particular period. Afro-Rican percussionist Cortijo and the magnificent singer Ismael Rivera brought the bomba into the dancehalls in the 1950s, and recorded a slew of great plenas in the bargain. But their music didn't decline just because other musicians followed them. Both these recordings are equally powerful, both for Rivera's superb, unusually heavy voice and for Cortijo's arranging skills. The first contains mostly plenas and bombas from the 1950s and 1960s.