Orquesta Broadway

New York City Salsa

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When you're discussing traditional Afro-Cuban salsa bands, it's important to know the difference between conjunto instrumentation and charanga instrumentation. Emphasizing horns, conjuntos tend to have a tougher, more hard-swinging approach--whereas charanga bands emphasize strings and favor a lighter, sweeter sound. Making violins a high priority, Orquesta Broadway is the epitome of a charanga band. You won't hear a lot of brassy trumpets or trombones on New York City Salsa; instead, the combination of leader Eddy Zervigon's flute and no less than four violins does more to define the band's sound than Roberto Rodriguez's trumpet. So the salsa you hear on "Ven A Bailar Son Montuno," "No Se Va Poder," and other tracks is a lighter, softer kind than the salsa of El Gran Combo, El Conjunto Casino, and numerous other bands of this style that have favored the conjunto format. But while New York City Salsa might swing more gently than conjunto bands, it still swings. (In fact, Tropicana released a collection titled Those Sweet Swinging Charangas in 1999). Although not in a class with the great Cuban charanga recordings of the 1950s, this 1978 recording is enjoyable and nicely executed.

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