Merengue Alegre


aec.arh505.2 4/23/02 New

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    Merengue Alegre Arhoolie

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Review Text Diaz sings and plays accordion on a mixture of traditional songs and original compositions on this lively merengue album, accompanied by the sort of rhythm section found in the traditional style of perico ripiao: guiro (a scraped metallophone) and tambora. Although this music has some resemblance to Tex-Mex conjunto music in the instrumentation (particularly the accordion and vocals), to North Americans who might be wearying of the wealth of similar-sounding conjunto combos, this is considerably more interesting. The tempos are so fast that it can initially be disorienting, as if these are Tex-Mex conjunto records playing at the wrong speed. But it's not just speed for speed's sake: The rhythms are cleverly syncopated and varied, and there's a cheerful urgency to the vocals and playing not always in found in other, similar forms of Latin American folk-based music. The original Spanish lyrics and their English translations are printed for about half the songs, and these are much in keeping with the energy of the record: exhortations to dance and celebrate and expressions of regional pride. ~ Richie Unterberger

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Vamos a Bailar - 6:20
  2. 2. Una Mañana de Abril - 4:15
  3. 3. Palo Bonito - 4:34
  4. 4. Auténtico Merengue - 5:48
  5. 5. Bachata Sentimental - 3:05
  6. 6. Caña Brava - 5:57
  7. 7. Navidad Sin Mi Madre - 5:31
  8. 8. Ritmos Oficiales - 5:20
  9. 9. Merengue Alegre - 5:32
  10. 10. Me la Pusieron Difícil - 4:53
  11. 11. Chiflera - 4:28
  12. 12. Tres Muchachas de Don Pancho - 5:20
  13. 13. Homenaje a San Pedro - 5:45

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