Mario E. Ortiz

Ritmo Y Sabor

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Mario Ortiz continues to acquiesce to the demand of the day for mainstream salsa, achieving superior results. Mario Ortiz's peerless skills as an arranger/bandleader remain exemplary, and his overall band performance can rate as an exuberant effect. It seems to coast with an unending supply of gleaming spontaneity. Lead vocalists Anthony Cruz and Primi Cruz (no relation) come off as amazingly talented improvisational singers. "Negra Quiéreme" (composed by Ramón Rodríguez and vocalized by Primi) is one of his most enjoyable tunes of the repertoire. His outfit contains notable musicians who would later make a mark on their own right: pianist/arranger Ramón Sánchez, trumpeter/arranger Tommy Villariny, and, of course, Gilberto Santa Rosa on backup vocals. Highly recommendable.