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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

LP RUMBA ENSEMBLE

By ROBERT KAYE
Published April 19, 2006

Montvale Rumba
Latin Percussion, Inc.

Montvale Rumba is the first new release produced in over 20 years by Latin Percussion, Inc.’s founder Martin Cohen. LP’s extensive line of first-rate percussion instruments, along with its catalog of video and recordings, has been a major force in today’s music industry. As its title implies, this album celebrates the percolating rhythms of Cuba in many permutations. Spearheading this project are internationally acclaimed percussionists Little Johnny Rivero, Pedro Martinez and Luisito Quintero. Additional instruments, including bass, harp, vocals and percussion, also join the revelry.  Interestingly, the original blueprint called for a jazz recording; however, Cohen explains, “It subsequently developed into a expose of traditional Rumba with the infusion of rhythms and other elements drawn from the cultural diversity of Latin America and the world.” The CD’s liner notes are fairly extensive, providing good historical context as well as individual track information. While mostly folkloric, Montvale Rumba moves beyond being a “field” recording to make its own, contemporary statement. Fans of similar projects (such as Kip Hanrahan’s Deep Rumba and David Garibaldi’s Talking Drums) will delight.