Jose Conde y Ola Fresca (R)evolucion

Much like how Alex Cuba’s Aqua Del Pozo was a refreshing take on a new, more mature Latin musical mentality aspiring to combine the diverse sounds of the Americas with pop sensibilities to create something unique, Jose Conde y Ola Fresca’s (R)evolucionis also a surprising contemporary listen. The New York-born Cuban invites along some of the city’s most vibrant musicians, including funk legend and original Meters drummer Joseph "Zigaboo” Modeliste and Latin All Stars Jimmy Bosch on trombone, for a delicious musical ajiaco (a multi-ingredient Cuban stew). Combing traditional genres such as son and cumbia with funk, reggae and even cha-cha, Conde writes the book on 21st century Latin music. The track listing reads like a Latin-fused menu and each song is aptly described, such as "bombafunk n salsa” on "Café Con Sangre,” "Haitian compras & son” on "Pititi y Tit” and "jazzed mambo descarga” on "Summertime.” Conde also knows when to slow things down, as on the lovely son ballad "Despelote.” Although the songs are wrapped in colourful, danceable rhythms, (R)evolucion is not something you will hear in a sweaty club. Instead, it is music to savour, and Conde will no doubt be an instrumental voice in the new wave (or ola fresca) of Latin music. (Mr. Bongo)