Ruben Rada

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Montevideo Review

by Al Campbell

Vocalist and multi-percussionist Ruben Rada pays tribute and embraces the musical culture of his birthplace, Montevideo, Uruguay, on his fourth disc. The modern master of candombe mixes that style with jazz (Rada backed up Airto and Flora Purim for a few years) world, rock, and funk, keeping his experimentation inspiring and compelling. Many of the tracks are original compositions (some co-written by his long time friend and keyboardist Hugo Fattoruso) that vocally challenge Rada; comparisons to Bobby McFerrin wouldn't be far off the mark, both possessing extraordinary phrasing ability and imitating multiple instruments.

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