Anibal Velasquez / Anibal Velasquez Y Su Conjunto

Mambo Loco

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The opener to this set, "Carruseles," begins with some piano that's straight out of Little Richard, before a brief pause, then the band blazes into some serious Latin music. But that's the spirit of Anibal Velasquez and his band -- they attacked what they did in the spirit of rock & roll. It doesn't matter whether it's a cumbia, a guaracha, or whatever, this is simply rock through a different musical prism, and every bit as stirring as Chuck Berry. "Que Paso" and "Santo Amor" both take Colombian sounds to places they'd never been before, and even when Velasquez gets rootsy, as on "Cumbia Bogotana," it's very much on his own terms. The nearest analogy is with the punks who upended rock, or even the very first generation of rockers, who subverted the forms and split everything wide open. This is high-octane music, a sound revelation that's absolutely invigorating and convincing.

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