Candela Viva

La Candela Viva

by Totó La Momposina y Sus Tambores
     
 
Any trip into the world of Colombian music must start here, with the energy of generations of African and indigenous rhythms channeled through the dynamo that is Totó la Momposina. With her troupe of drummers and dancers, Totó, like dedicated artist/folklorists from Sweet Honey in the Rock to Peru's Susana Baca, specializes in recovering music from the

Overview

Any trip into the world of Colombian music must start here, with the energy of generations of African and indigenous rhythms channeled through the dynamo that is Totó la Momposina. With her troupe of drummers and dancers, Totó, like dedicated artist/folklorists from Sweet Honey in the Rock to Peru's Susana Baca, specializes in recovering music from the past and presenting it with verve and relevance for the present. The cumbia, the ubiquitous Colombian rhythm that's now rooted from Mexico to Argentina, is recalled in its stark, percussive power on "Dos de Febrero" and "El Pescador," where, to the throb of bass drums, couples dance with lighted candles in a ballet of chaste desire. Totó's vocals are fraught with ancestor power, capable of calling up elemental spirits. Rhythms like the mapale, puya, and garabato reflect the mixed indigenous, African, and Spanish influences that have shaped all the music of Latin America. But you'd have to look long and hard to find a blend with the harmony, clarity, and percussive force found on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
Tóto La Momposina is more than a name. It's a place, a people, and way a life, exemplified in the music created by one woman and her group -- many of whom are members of her family. They come from Talaigua, a village on the island of Mompos in the northern Colombian river of Magdalena, and the music they make comes from their ancestors. Much of it, like the cumbias "Dos de Febrero" and "El Pescador," is driven by voices and percussion, with Tóto in particular displaying a powerful vocal strength. However, the musical crossover becomes more interesting with the sextet piece "La Sombra Negra," which was brought over to Colombia by black Cubans, and shows its origins in the guitar and tiple playing and rhythms, as well as the style of harmonies in the voices. You can think of this music as folkloric, preserving a tradition that's in danger of extinction, and in many ways you'd be right -- the gaita playing of "Dáme la Mano Juancho," for example, is redolent of that. But when the rhythm of "Mapale" explodes from the speakers, it's impossible to think of this as anything but living, breathing, and right now. That's reinforced by the title track, where the drums sizzle under the voices, with Tóto once again in the center, with the kind of lungs that come across all too rarely, and a tone to die for. Tóto La Momposina is a singular talent. Though the centerpiece of this record, she's happy to sit back and let the spotlight shine on others, as on "La Acabación," a surprisingly sprightly funeral tune from San Basilio de Palenque. But her presence is always commanding, and the music she makes is wonderful indeed.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/10/1993
Label:
Real World
UPC:
0017046233729
catalogNumber:
62337

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Totó La Momposina y Sus Tambores   Primary Artist
Totó La Momposina   Vocals
Rafael Ramos   Guitar,Choir, Chorus,Bombo
Eduardo Martinez   Maracas,Marimbas,Choir, Chorus,Claves,Gaita Hembra,Gaita Macho,Guache
Mayte Montero   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Gaita Hembra,Gaita Macho
Euridice Oyaga   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Marco Vinicio Oyaga   Bombo,Tambor
Paulino "Batata" Salgado   Bongos,Marimbas,Tambor Hembra
Dario Castro   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Tambor Hembra,Llamador
Avelino Sanchez   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,tiple

Technical Credits

Richard Blair   Producer,Engineer
Phil Ramone   Producer
Rafael Ramos   Arranger
Eduardo Martinez   Arranger
Mayte Montero   Arranger
Sy-Jenq Cheng   Art Direction
Richard Chappell   Engineer
Garry Mouat   Series Identity
Marco Vinicio Oyaga   Producer
Avelino Sanchez   Arranger
Tatiana Spencer   Liner Notes
John Hollis   Producer

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