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Tuesday Reviewsday: Bomba Estereo, and Héctor Lavoe and Celia Cruz find a new audience

Columbian recording artist, Bomba Estereo
Columbian recording artist, Bomba Estereo
Columbian recording artist, Bomba Estereo
Fania Records

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Every week, we hear from our music experts on what's new and fresh. This week, Take Two contributor Justino Aguila brings us a real treat. Here are his picks.

Artist:  Various, including Hector Lavoe and Celia Cruz

Album: Fania Records, Santiago Sessions

Our first selection is the new EP called Fania Records, Santiago Sessions. It's a remix EP of six classic songs from the Fania catalog and features legends such Hector Lavoe, Ray Barretto, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, among others.

And there is no one like Hector Lavoe and his classic "Aguanile.” Now, with the producing skills of DJ Jose Marquez, that classic takes on a whole new meaning thanks to a new version without taking anything away from the original.

If you want to compare the new to the original, check out this classic performance. 

The remix is all rooted in the percussion: the congas by Bobby Wilmore and Lazaro Galarraga takes it to the next level and Claudio Passavanti's work on piano and bass also gives new energy to the song.

“Herencia Africana” features the legendary Celia Cruz as the song honors her African roots. The new version is cool and thanks to a few added elements, the composition continues to shine with Sidy Maiga on the djembe (drums) and Balla Kouyaté on the balafon (xylophone). The producing is sharp, the contributions are perfectly matched to Cruz’s unmistakable vocals.

Artist:  Bomba Estereo

Album: Ayo

The Colombian group Bomba Estereo’s new album is catchy, experimental and fun and powerful at the same time. This time the sound takes music fans into a magical place, which is Ayo, the title of the album. A spiritual journey through music is a major part of this album and it’s also experimental and the kind of music that shows a different side of Bomba Estereo, who has fans all over the world as this 5th studio album continues to reach audiences as the band tours in the U.S. an beyond. The album does have an experimental vibe, but the vibrant sounds that Bomba Estereo brings to music is never lost.