The mambo has become fashionable again lately, but for Tito Puente it has never gone out of fashion. In 1957 he cut two stellar albums for RCA, but just how good they were didn't become obvious until the advent of the CD. The full, rich sound on these LPs is nothing short of astonishing. This is mambo at its most ecstatic: blasting brass, sensual saxes, and that irresistible Afro-Cuban rhythm section led by Tito, Ray Baretto and Mongo Santamaria. This set contains 23 titles, including 3-D Mambo, Mambo Gozon, Conga Alegre, Hot Timbales…. etc.. Ay! Ay! Ay!
This album is something of a legend in the annals of ECM lore, as it was the only ever recorded by the fantastically talented Steve Eliovson. With Collin Walcott on percussion for support, the since unheard-from guitarist carves lasting impressions that can now be thankfully heard on CD. The experience begins in “Venice” (as in California), where the guitar speaks with tabla like two continents connected by tectonic plates beneath an ocean. Eliovson’s sonorities are pristine, especially in “Earth End” and in “Slow Jazz,” where the precision of finger placement and the occasional bent note add a soulful turn of phrase. The album’s portal is “Awakening,” a submarine communion of gongs that closes one door while opening another. The title track is buoyed by a glimmering triangle and arpeggios from an internal guitar, while the external speaks in tongues with the various percussive accents that flit in and out of its view.
Beecham had an exquisite ear for detail, and his Peer Gynt has more fantasy — more subtlety, too — than anyone else's: Ase s Death and Anitra 's Dance are simply magical. So is the Symphonic Dance, and if In Autumn and the variations occasionally seem a litde thin musically, Beecham makes amends with keenness of attack and eloquent phrasing. The orchestra is superb and the transfers (which give us the variations in stereo for the first time), excellent.
WHAT IS BODYJAM? Choreographed by Gandalf Archer-Mills in Auckland, New Zealand, BODYJAM is the ultimate combination of music and dance. Tracks that you love right now? They’re in BODYJAM. That new style you’ve heard about? It was in BODYJAM last year. BODYJAM is available as a either a 55, 45 or 30-minute workout.
Learn how to dance latin and brazilian rhythms in 6 video courses: Latin: Salsa, Salsa on 2, Bachata, Cha Cha Brazilian: Gafieira Samba, Brazilian Zouk
Given the cold shoulder Madonna's 2003 album American Life received by critics and audiences alike – it may have gone platinum, but apart from the Bond theme “Die Another Day,” released in advance of the album, it generated no new Top Ten singles (in fact, its title track barely cracked the Top 40) – it's hard not to read its 2005 follow-up, Confessions on a Dance Floor, as a back-to-basics move of sorts: after a stumble, she's returning to her roots, namely the discos and clubs where she launched her career in the early '80s…