Toño Rosario


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There are few singers in modern merengue who are daring enough to stray from the well-beaten path. If one doesn't like a certain merenguero's vocal stylings, they're probably not going to like those of the next, either. Both in timbre and inflection, the style is pretty homogeneous. One of the few that does not fit inside the box, and his fans are grateful for it, is Toño Rosario. The dark, thick color of his voice sets him apart from the bright, brassy pack. Rosario's ornamentation is as smooth and rich as molasses, bringing to mind the crooners or bolero performers of yesteryear. In a world of barking trumpets, Rosario is a soulful tenor saxophone. Not only does Rosario distinguish himself as one of the D.R.'s easiest on the ears, but the arrangements on his 2004 release, Resistiré, are consistently well thought out and subtle. The horn lines throughout glide smoothly over the energetic rhythm section. Neither they nor their frontman seem in a hurry to prove something, which puts the listener at ease to enjoy the music. The compositions are plenty joyful and exuberant, but lacking the edgy, overly caffeinated quality so many contemporaries can't shake. It is no surprise this record was nominated for a Latin Grammy.

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