César Pedroso

Timba: The New Generation of Latin Music

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When César Pedroso left one of the most well-known, well-respected dance bands in the history of Cuban music to set out on his own and start a new group, many shook their heads in confusion and surprise. "Pupy," as Pedroso is commonly known, had made a name for himself as the pianist for Los Van Van, and probably could have ridden that wave of success all the way into old age, and none would have batted an eye. However, with the success of his sound and new group, Pupy y los Que Son, Son (Those Who Are, Are), heads that were once shaken are turning, and eyes are wide with surprise. Los Que Son, Son's second release, Timba: The New Generation of Latin Music, is as boldly played as it is titled. Ironic as it sounds, Pupy is vindicated, as it seems that the next generation of salsa is being ushered in by one of her veterans. Pedroso's many years of experience bring a maturity and sophistication to timba that contemporaries like David Calzado and Issac Delgado cannot. The record is as harmonically engaging as it is rhythmically serpentine. With Pedroso carrying the tradition of salsa con strings with him from Los Van Van and utilizing a mighty four-man horn section, Los Que Son, Son sound like a salsa steam engine with claves in the furnace. The percussion section doesn't break the rules so much as make new ones, and Pupy's playing is unparalleled. Timba: The New Generation of Latin Music will require several listens to unravel all that the future has in store.

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