Toto La Momposina

cd cover Singer Toto La Momposina and her band present a mix of styles from her native Colombia. Her strong vocals soar over the band whose efforts cook in the best tradition of Caribbean styles - smooth and hot. The band seems most comfortable on the 4 of 12 cuts that are varieties of Cuban sons. These feature some fine tiple solos.

What makes this album stand out from the pack is the presentation of samples of various rhythms native to Colombia (some of which appear to be at least partially created by the band and not necessarily traditional). Of special note are the cuts based on native Indian motives. On these, local end-blown flutes and hand drums are used. The result is somewhat similar to the Andes pan flute bands, but with more driving, Cuban-inspired rhythms.

According to the album notes, this is the first time the group has ventured into these local genres and used brass. I do not know of this group outside of this album, but their effort here is definitely worth a listen. - Stacy Phillips

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