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Willie Colón

Asalto Navideño ¡En Vivo! Puerto Rico 1993: Edicion Deluxe 2 Disc DVD & CD Set
DVD (Lone Wolf LW-803), Released 2008;
Editor's Pick:
***Best of 2008 Editors Pick Award***
Willie Colón’s “Asalto Navideño” franchise is a well-known, beloved institution, and in 1993, Colón went all out to put on a great live show in Puerto Rico’s Coliseo Roberto Clemente featuring the best of his Christmas output from the 70s and 80s. Colón is backed by an ace big band, many excellent guests, and a visual spectacle complete with dancers dramatizing the Navidad party scenes and Barrio vignettes depicted in the songs (I bet those dancers in ski hats, overcoats, and scarves sure worked up a sweat – best was the “lechon asado” roasting over the “fire” of dry ice on stage). The ubiquitous maestro and musical director Isidro Infante is on keyboards, Rubén Rodríguez holds down the bass, and Johnny Almendra goes wild on timbales. Colon did not skimp on that most essential of Navideño ingredients, the cuatro, having hired three of the island’s best players: Yomo Toro, Edwin Colón Zayas and Pedrito Guzmán (all three give stinging marathon solos at various points throughout the night). Tito Allen tears it up on the old favorite “No Me Digan Que Es Muy Tarde” and shares a duet with Willie on a great version of “La Murga” (though sadly it is faded out too quickly). A nice surprise is Angel "Cucco" Peña singing the old Cuban bolero “Idilio,” but perhaps the most interesting (and effective) guest vocal is by the very young singer Josean Torres on "Divino Maestro,” sounding eerily just like Hector Lavoe, who was imitating an old jibaro. Colón is in fine voice throughout and also plays his horns, adding to an already robust trio of ‘bones, sax, and trumpets. The second disc is a CD of the show so you can play it at Christmas dance parties – a good deal all around. As Willie intones over the closing strains of “Cantemos” at the close of the show, his “Asalto Navideño” project in the 70s was all about immigrants’ nostalgia for the homeland and their deep religious faith, both elements of Barrio life that help Latinos survive with identity intact, something that is especially important around the Holidays, where faith, folklore, and tradition combine. Let Willie and his merry band of musicians, singers, and dances take you there. My one quibble is that some of the songs are of inferior sound quality, but that is perhaps to be expected from any live, historic performance.
Highly Recommended. (Pablo Yglesias, 2008-12-08)
Song titles include:
La Banda
Vive Tu Vida Contento
Aires De Navidad
¿Oh Qué Sera?
Canta A Borinquen
Doña Santos
La Murga
Mi Gran Amor
Che Che Cole
Ah Ah On No
Divino Maestro
Calle Luna Calle Sol
El Gran Varon
No Me Digan
Musicians include:
Edwin Colon Zayas Cuatro
Pedrito Guzman Cuatro
Yomo Toro Cuatro
Ozzlie Melendez Trombone
Charlie Garcia Trombone
Dan Reagan Trombone
Peter Brainen Sax
Ray Colon Percusion
Eric Velez Percusion
Johnny Almendra Percusion
Roben Rodriguez Bajo
Isidro Infante Piano, direcion musical
Willie Colon Cantante
Tito Allen Cantante
Cucco Peña Cantante
Josean Torres Cantante
Category: Dvd => Salsa/Son => Puerto Rico
Shipping Value: 2
ORDER TL-23383.20 DVD $17.98


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