10.01.13 : Ritmo Oriental – Yo Soy El Capitan

Hello all!
What great weather have we been having lately… rainy, windy and fresh!
Love it!

Well, back to business…
This week’s recommendation is of a rather short, bu very nice song; Yo Soy El Capitan, by Ritmo Oriental… This song is only 3 minutes and 37 seconds long, but sure packs some energy!

Ritmo Oriental is yet another wonderful, important, major Cuban salsa band.
It goes pretty far back – it was established in 1958 by musicians who broke off from Orquesta Reve, due to the fact they preferred charanga to changui as the main stylistic guideline.
Over the years the band released many hits, and was as innovative as Los Van Van, but in it’s own, less “wild” way; while Van Van experimented with crazy (and sometimes, quite bizarre) fusions of old and new, la Ritmo had a much slower, safer, pace, not straying too far at any given one time from their charanga (and later son montuno) driven style of playing, which can be heard today as well.
This gave the listeners a sense of the band still being there, doing what they know best and what the audience loves hearing, while still being innovative and interesting.
Although, unlike Van Van, la Ritmo doesn’t have a musical style named after it (as songo is after Vav Van), they were innovating a lot at the exact same period when Los Van Van were, and judging from the practice of “musical chairs” between bands (still common in Cuba today), it is quite possible that la Ritmo, Van Van, orquesta Reve, and some other major bands of the 60’s and 70’s contributed to one another in musical innovation and development of new styles of popular music.

Ritmo oriental is also the professional birthplace of 2 very important figures in Timba – Tony Cala and David Calzado, the 1st being the one of the earliest Timba singers, and the 2nd being a leading member (and nowadays, the band leader) of La Charanga Habanera.

Disfruten, y hasta pronto,

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