Siempre Salsa is an upbeat collection of songs in a variety of settings, all of which have in common the spirit of salsa. The eight songs on the CD were all composed by trombonist Rick Davies and range from straight-up Bronx-style salsa dura to big-band and small-group Latin jazz. Wayne Gorbea and Salsa Picante are featured on the two mainstream salsa cuts, "Rosa Primavera" and "Habana Nocturna." Frank Otero offers his provocative vocals on both tracks. The remaining selections are Latin jazz and feature the Jazzismo Sextet joined by various New York- and Vermont-based musicians including the members of Salsa Picante. Culled from the big-band archives, both "Insomnio" and "Santos" bring back memories of the Palladium-era tradition of Machito and Tito Puente. "Santos" is a tribute to the great arranger Ray Santos. "Rumba Nortena" and "Caliente Time" feature the core members of the Jazzismo Sextet while guest alto saxophonist David Grippo shines on "Cena Para Seis" and "Calle Loca." Rick Davies uses many of the same techniques heard on his first CD, Salsa Strut, offering listeners a danceable, emotional set. However, with the additional swing and big-band arrangements for Siempre Salsa, Davies brings the Latin side of his trombone finesse to the forefront with more swing, more style, and more sass.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein