Monguito "El Unico" International


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Monguito "El Unico" International Review

by Alex Henderson

Monguito El Unico's 1980s output was quite consistent, but the Cuban salsa vocalist outdid himself with Monguito, one of his strongest albums. This LP boasted the classic "No le Llamen Salsa a Mi Son," which finds Monguito expressing his disdain for the term salsa and asking listeners not to use it to describe the Afro-Cuban son rhythm. Monguito isn't the only Cuban who dislikes the term salsa, which was popularized by Jerry Masucci and his colleagues at Fania Records in the 1970s. But salsa isn't a disrespectful term, and it's actually a very convenient one; if your Afro-Cuban band plays son, cha-cha, descargas, and guaguanco, as well as rumba, mambo, and guaracha, it's easier to call yourself a salsa artist than list all of the styles that you're into. (And the term becomes even more convenient if you're a Puerto Rican band that brings plena or bomba rhythms to an Afro-Cuban foundation). Whatever terms you use to describe Monguito's music, this is a fine album. The singer brings plenty of passion and charisma to "No le Llamen Salsa a Mi Son," and he's equally spirited on "Los Secretos del Amor," "Mexico Lindo," and the optimistic "Miren Que Suerte." Produced by Roberto Torres in New York, Monguito is recommended to salseros without hesitation.

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