Grupo Calle Uno And Me – Maybe?

So, Grupo Calle Uno from Rochester played for the Ithaca Puerto Rican Festival on July 30th. It was early evening and they hadn’t started drinking. The band played well though they just played covers. Next they came to Oasis played all salsa sets and actually played new material! I couldn’t believe my ears and at first thought that the dj had suddenly jumped in and I had lost track of time, but it was the band actually playing new songs!

So if the Grupo Calle Uno does not drink and plays new material I enjoy them. How many times am I going to enjoy these particular circumstances? Going by past history? I think I’ll still pass them if I can help it.

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Grupo Calle Uno and I Were Never Meant to Be

One should almost always be given another chance and so tonight I checked out Grupo Calle Uno from Rochester,NY, once again. And, I was once again disappointed. Drinking and playing do not go hand in hand. Or it may just be something else…I may not have much musical training, but I definitely heard some decidedly unpleasant squawking from the brass, among other things.

Bye bye Grupo Calle Uno. You and I were never meant to be in the same room enjoying each others company.

La Rumba No by Los Van Van – dj vs live band – and other ramblings

It has been way too long and I’ve missed so many oppportunities to share. It is a matter of getting into a new rhythmn, adding this blog to my daily pattern…

I discovered a great song at the Oasis last night – La Rumba No. This song is from a 2009 CD called arrasando by the group Los Van Van and can be heard on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3C9EpmC6S4 . So what makes it a great song? La Rumba No has a great clear beat, danceable by almost anyone. Secondly it has an additional piquancy, with the arrangement mixed a little. There are some songs where the band will be creative and change things up so often that only the most advanced/creative of dancers can be with/in the music. There are others where the arrangement is like deeply worn ruts on a dirt track. This song finds just the right balance in my opinion and will be enjoyed by both the advanced dancer who likes cuban salsa as well as those just starting their dance journeys. This brings to mind the difference between dj’d and live music.

When I go to a dance there are many times I feel that a good dj is a 1000 times better than a live band. Last Saturday I was entertained by the band “Grupo Calle Uno” based out of Rochester. A band that played covers of the most popular latin songs heard in the clubs, with few original numbers and not enough playing time. This band took three long breaks, plus seemed to need a long discussion each time before playing the next song. Come on! Is this band practice or a gig? On the other hand I went to Taughannock Falls State Park yesterday evening and heard the “Caribe Jazz All Stars”. Great danceable music, with many originals. In fact I like their latest CD – not their older ones so be careful – called “Jorge T Cuevas and the Caribe Jazz All Stars” which can be bought at http://www.jorgevisions.com/store.htm