Timba.com’s Michelle White was on hand for one of Azúcar Negra’s frequent European tours and contributed this concert report which also details the latest personnel changes.
Also please check out our first interview with Limonta (2000) and Bárbara Valladares’ first hand account of the 2000 tour of Los Ángeles and Las Vegas.
All of Azúcar Negra’s material is written by Limonta, who also wrote four huge hits for Charanga Habanera and two for Issac Delgado. Juan Carlos González said of Limonta — “He’s not a trained musician, but every song he brought in had some kind of special magic and became a huge hit”. Various bandmembers have contributed arrangements, such as Adalberto Domínguez, who is also once of Timba’s top bassists, a great pianist, and an absolute wonder to watch on stage.
In the years prior to the release of Andar andando, Azúcar Negra, like many Cuban bands, had a string of radio hits. The bands record relatively inexpensive demos and release them to Radio Taíno and other stations. In some cases, such as Paulito’s “La Última Bala”, the demo winds up being better than the recorded version because of personnel changes. In other cases, great songs are released as demos and then never officially released. Two of Timba’s greatest tracks fall into this category: Paulito’s “Laura” and Azúcar Negra’s “Almas disfrazadas”. Azúcar Negra released four of its demos to mp3.com, including “Almas Disfrazadas”, but the site is now defunct and the single is no longer available. The other two songs are on “Andar andando”. Click on our DISCS button above to learn more about Azúcar Negra’s discography.
Azúcar Negra is an extremely well-rehearsed band whose live show is full of interesting medleys and segues. They’re definitely a thrill to see live. They only have the two albums, but they’re so packed with great music that we count them among the upper echelon of Timba bands, especially considering the past accomplishments of Limonta.
Edited by occasionalstar on 22 Mar 2009, 15:08
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