Celia Cruz

The Best [w/Willie Colon]

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Putting two fantastically talented musicians together is never a bad idea, something that was once again proven with the collaboration between salseros Celia Cruz and Willie Colón. Though few of the cuts on the Fania-released The Best are huge hits for either artist (exceptions being "Cucurrucucu Paloma," "Burundanga," and "Usted Abuso"), all wonderfully showcase the abilities of Cruz as a singer and Colón as a bandleader and producer (five of the songs -- "Kirimbumbara," "Dos Jueyes," "Apaga la Luz," "Cucurrucuru Paloma," and "Latinos en Estados Unidos" -- are also found on the fantastic 1981 album Celia & Willie). The salsa is crisp and passionate and expertly executed, fun and yet intricate, horns and drums weaving in and out of each other while Cruz's distinctive voice controls the entire piece, making it whole, and making the 15-track The Best exactly that.

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