Fourteen musicians, 46 instruments, and the astonishing rhythmic variety of the Afro-Cuban culture; ingredients for a percussion fiesta. Under the joint leadership of the veteran drummer Louis Bellson and the gifted Cuban percussionist Walfredo de los Reyes, Sr., a cross-section of American and Caribbean musicians explores the expressive possibilities in the complex rhythms developed within the musical traditions of the Nañigo descendants of Carabali tribesmen taken to Cuba from the Congo. The music is rich in texture, variety, and percussive melody. Warning: the compulsion to dance may be irresistible.
This collaboration between April March and the Southern California band Los Cincos is a pleasant listen, often sounding like a mix between the Cardigans and the Ventures. March's nice vocals glide over the most mature music Los Cincos have ever recorded. Adding depth to the record is the violin playing of ex-That Dog member Petra Haden, whose playing is perfectly suited for this material, especially on the album's centrepiece, "Last Train to Christmas." The highlights include a near-perfect pop tune in "Olive Green Dictionary" that concludes with Eno-esque ambience, and the equally catchy "Bebert," sung in French. All in all, April March and Los Cincos is a charming underground pop record with not one bad cut.