Changuito Stirs Venezuela’s Musical Passions

Changuito  Telegrafia Sin Hilo
Changuito Telegrafia Sin Hilo

Telegrafia sin Hilo (Cacao Music, 2007)

Venezuela’s Cacao Música is one of the most impressive finds this year. One of the first CDs available in the US is Telegrafia Sin Hilo, the latest work by Cuban percussion master Changuito. Beautifully packages and recorded in a state of the art facility, Changuito‘s gem is a voyage through the various musical treasures that have roots in Cuba.

The album begins with an instrumental Afro-Latin jazz piece featuring Changuito‘s trademark timbales, together with batá drums and powerful bass and piano. Next comes Changuito se botó, which a s a tribute to Changuito‘s visit to Venezuela, featuring an excellent cast of soneros, including singer Rodrigo Mendoza.

"Almendra" takes the listener to charming old time charanga, featuring flute and brass. From charanga, Changuito moves to hot timba.

Changuito returns the favor and pays a tribute to Afro-Venezuelan in "Herencia," combining  fiery Afro-Cuban and Afro-Venezuelan rhythms and drums, including cumaco drums and campanas de San Miguel. The special guest in this track is Afro-Venezuelan band Herencia.

Salsa has Cuban and Puerto Rican roots, but it has set deep roots in Venezuela and Colombia. "Rumbero" pays tribute to salsa’s roots: son, guagancó and more.

"Afrocuban Dream" mixes jazz and Afro-Cuban beats. Changuito is joined by sax player Felipe Lamoglia and fellow percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo.

"Negro’s Son" returns to scorching Latin jazz, featuring Giovanni Hidalgo once more, along with trombonist Alexander Zapata. 

A descarga (jam) founded in son montuno characterizes "De Camaguey y la Habana," which features montuno piano, hot brass and two spectacular timbal solos by Changuito and Patricio el Chino Diaz. 

The album ends with a percussion piece featuring timbal, batá drums and congas. 

This outstanding Cuban-Venezuelan album has already climbed to the top of favorite CDs of 2007. 

Buy Telegrafia Sin Hilo.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.