Ralph Irizarry “Viejos Pero Sabrosos” CD Review

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“Viejos Pero Sabrosos” is a Salsa music album released by Ralph Irizarry and the make-up band “Los Viejos de la Salsa” on April 2012.

For Ralph Irizarry,who is ex-member of Ray Barretto’s band and Ruben Blades’ “Seis del Solar”, this is his 6th album as a bandleader (3 with Timalaye; 2 with Son Café; 1 with Los Viejos, if I’m keeping track correctly). This Salsa music project was partially financed through a Kickstarter project.

What I Like About “Viejos Pero Sabrosos”

Ralph Irizarry and "Los Viejos de la Salsa" backcover
The backcover of “Los Viejos de la Salsa” includes all the credits.

12 Tracks of good “Salsa Dura”, “Salsa Clasica”, great for dancers and lovers of the ’70’s and ’80’s Salsa music.

Excellent band sound. Good musicians like Eddie Montalvo (congas), Pepe Espinosa (congas), Edy Martinez (piano), Ricky Gonzalez (piano), Reynaldo Jorge (trombone), Ruben Rodriguez (bass), veteran maestro Elias Lopez (do I need to say he plays trumpet?), and others.

Great musical arrangements. Thick sound with great swing.

Good execution by Venezuelan lead singer Marcial Isturiz

Themed around “los viejos”…but maybe too much! (keep reading below)

Suggestions to Ralph Irizarry About “Viejos Pero Sabrosos”

Too many songs themed around “los viejos”. Like they say “lo poquito agrada y lo mucho enfada”. I counted 5 of the 12 songs themed around “los viejos”, not counting “Reunion Celestial” a song about some Salsa music idols that passed away (mostly, but not necessarily old).

Some weak lyrics – some of the compositions were weak from a penmanship standpoint. Songs like “Al Tambor”, “Un Loco con una Moto”, and “Los Viejitos” are not all that lyrically strong. Marcial saves some of them with good “soneos” and the fact they are very danceable tracks, but still lyrically weak.

Recommendation of “Viejos Pero Sabrosos”

I liked “Viejos Pero Sabrosos” because it is a solid production by Ralph Irizarry that provides good “Salsa Dura” for dancers and hard Salsa music fans. Marcial Isturiz does a good job in front of the mike. The Venezuelan “sonero” provides good “soneos” and swing despite not having a gifted voice.

I hope that for the 2nd album of “Los Viejos de la Salsa” they go the way of the “Mambo Legends” and keep doing original “Salsa dura” music that does not reference the “viejos” themes so much. In the meantime, enjoy this great Salsa music work from Ralph Irizarry and his old buddies…and keep the good Salsa music coming!

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