Sobre las Olas

Latin Brothers

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Sobre las Olas Review

by Mark Romano

The Latin Brothers are one of Colombia's finest bands whose style was influenced by the full-throttle multiple-trombone sound of Oscar D'Leon from Venezuela. Under the direction of Fruko, the legendary godfather of Colombian salsa, they released their first album in 1974 and have since gone on to international fame, blending classic hard-nosed salsa and fiery Cumbia. They were a veritable incubator for many well-known composers, musicians, and singers, including Joe Arroyo and Piper Pimienta. Their music developed out of the melting pot and capital of Colombian salsa, Cali.

Their sound fuses Cuban son, guajira, salsa, and Cumbia. The horns are extremely clear and upfront, as is the percussion. The vocals have a tropical smoothness that is like coconut oil. They don't give an inch and are relentless in developing non-stop grooves. What is also appealing about their music and has made them unique is that they seamlessly switch from one style to another and back again. Much of the commercial romantic salsa can't stand up to this kind of torrid dance music. They draw on classic rhythms and make them their own with a twist. One listen to the Cumbia "Delia la Cumbiambera" makes the hips move; there's no asking how or why. That's why this excellent compilation is highly recommended.

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