Puerto Plata – Mujer de Cabaret (Iaso, 2007)
Various Artists – Bachata Roja (Iaso, 2007)
Iaso Records is releasing some of the most interesting music our of the Dominican Republic. Leaving aside the ubiquitous merengue, Iaso has focused instead on the great rural guitar tradition of the Caribbean island.
José Manuel Cobles (Puerto Plata) is an 83 year old guitarist who keeps the acoustic guitar tradition alive. His life motto is “Enchanted with life, and forgetting about death.”
Puerto Plata is the last of his generation. On Mujer de Cabaret, he plays lively songs in several forms: bachata, bolero, merengue, mangulina and ranchera. The instrumentation is essentially vocals, fiery guitars, percussion and bass.
The compilation Bachata Roja focuses on the delectable acoustic bachata, which was popular until the 1980s. Acoustic bachata is centered on the sound of the acoustic guitar. Bachata Roja is a series of songs which feature excellent performances by some of the best players of the time.