Lo Ultimo En Vivo

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All Music Guide
The 15-piece Cuban institution led by bassist Juan Formell recorded this album of new material direct to DAT live, although it's hard to tell if it was an actual gig, or a no-second-chance-with-overdubs affair, in the Salon Rosado de La Tropical studio before a select audience. It does mark the debut of Samuel Formell on drums, replacing the veteran Jose L. Quintana, and it's an eminently solid outing that won't disappoint fans. Los Van Van plays modern Cuban pop music built around structured songs, tight arrangements centered on the vocals, and loads of riffs, melodies, and hooks laid-over choppy, staggered rhythms that maintain a persistent forward thrust. Between violins for the classic charanga sound, and ...
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CD Good The item has been opened and may show signs of wear. The case may include: markings from a previous owner, minor scratches or scuffs, but otherwise remains undamaged. ... All cover art and liner notes are included. All orders guaranteed and ship within 24 hours. Your purchase supports More Than Words, a nonprofit job training program for youth, empowering youth to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
The 15-piece Cuban institution led by bassist Juan Formell recorded this album of new material direct to DAT live, although it's hard to tell if it was an actual gig, or a no-second-chance-with-overdubs affair, in the Salon Rosado de La Tropical studio before a select audience. It does mark the debut of Samuel Formell on drums, replacing the veteran Jose L. Quintana, and it's an eminently solid outing that won't disappoint fans. Los Van Van plays modern Cuban pop music built around structured songs, tight arrangements centered on the vocals, and loads of riffs, melodies, and hooks laid-over choppy, staggered rhythms that maintain a persistent forward thrust. Between violins for the classic charanga sound, and trombones to kick in the son variations, the band has a built-in capacity for variety, and a three-person singing squad doesn't hurt on that score, either. More than anything, there's a great pop sensibility at play here because something always seem to hook you at some point in almost every song. It doesn't necessarily last the whole song, and it doesn't matter if Cuban music is a favorite genre or not, but something gets in there and grabs hold. "Qué Sorpresa! Voy A Publicar Tu Foto En La Prensa" -- that's "Surprise! I'm Going To Publish Your Photo In The Newspaper" -- apparently was a huge hit on the island for months, but it's hard to figure out why until the tabloid era-savvy chorus kicks in and locks down. So the music's strong and arranged with plenty of veteran savvy, but another key to Los Van Van's 25-year run of Cuban success is that Formell and company have a good handle on the Cuban everyman/woman experience in their lyrics. The title of "Soy Normal, Natural" doesn't need any translation, and the unpretentious, no star-tripper stance is reflected in the direct, down-to-earth lyrics throughout the disc. "Qué Sorpresa" is built on a lover's revenge theme that's certainly universal, and blues fans might note that what triggers the desire for a little "get back-payback" isn't far from Howlin' Wolf's "I asked my baby for water/You know she gave me gasoline." The upbeat "Pura Vestamientos" deals with wanting to see the real person behind a clotheshorse façade, and "Tu Me Haces Falta" is an affecting ballad that raises the question if the strings are hyper-sentimental or just Latin emotionalism. . .until a synth programmed for a fuzz guitar solo over plucked strings renders the point moot. The up-tempo "Un Socio" is driven by bass, piano, and effective vocal exchanges, while it's the descending, piano-driven melody hook that gets mixed up with strings and various synth sounds that draw attention on "Hierbero, Ven." You don't know exactly where the music's going on the latter but it keeps you listening, and that's a pretty fair capsule description of Lo Ultimo En Vivo
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/10/1995
  • Label: Qbadisc Records
  • UPC: 726167902024
  • Catalog Number: 9020

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Los Van Van Primary Artist
Juan Formell Indexed Contributor, Bass, Background Vocals, Voices, Choir, Chorus
Pedro Calvo Voices, Choir, Chorus
Orlando Canto Flute, Marimbas
Alvaro Collado Trombone
Manuel Labarrera Conga
Fernando Leyva Violin
Jesus Linares Violin
Gerardo Miro Violin
Hugo Morejon Synthesizer, Trombone
César Pedroso Piano
Edmondo Pina Trombone
Mario Rivera Bongos, Voices, Choir, Chorus
Angel Bonne Alto Saxophone, Choir, Chorus, Synthesizer Saxophone
Samuel Formell Drums, Pailas
Technical Credits
Ned Sublette Executive Producer
Pedro Calvo Contributor
Juan Formell Director, Liner Notes
Juliol Noroña Contributor
Edmondo Pina Percussion Programming
Ben Socolov Executive Producer
Michel Vega Executive Producer
Angel Bonne Contributor
Ernesto Nodarse Engineer
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