Tromboranga’s “Tromboranga” CD Review


“Tromboranga” is the name of the debut “Salsa dura” music album from the Barcelona-based group of the same name.

When a group of Latin American musicians from different countries get together in a foreign European country and form a band with the purpose of making a solid statement in the Salsa music scene, you get Tromboranga. Tromboranga is led by Venezuelan percussionist Joaquin Arteaga. It is integrated by musicians from Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, and Peru, with the addition of an Englishman.

The album includes 11 “Salsa Dura” songs and was released in April 2012 under the record label Import CD – Bloque 53. As the name implies, Tromboranga uses only trombones in the wind section. It’s music format and arrangements have some resemblances to “La Dimension Latina”. That was the legendary Venezuelan band which gave birth to the musical career of Salsa music icon Oscar D’Leon. However, this resemblance with “Dimension Latina” is not true in all songs, depending on the arrangement for the particular song.

What I Liked About “Tromboranga”:

• The songs in “Tromboranga” are original compositions with stories about different “barrio” themes. This makes it reminiscent of the Salsa music of the ’70s. The song topics include love, infidelity, a neighborhood guy, food, work, and the music itself.

Tromboranga band photo
Tromboranga includes musicians from various countries playing Salsa dura with passion and flavor.

• The musical arrangements are aggressive and incorporate many elements of the classic Salsa music era of the 1970’s and ’80’s. The songs include solos (trombone or percussion), different choruses, and some with an additional 2nd mambo. This is definitely good Salsa music to dance to. It’s also enjoyable to listen as the songs kept my interest by incorporating 2nd choruses, 2nd mambos, and solos.

• “Tromboranga” has a variety of rhythms within Salsa music. Its various tempos and musical styles keeps the album fresh and interesting to listen from start to finish.

• The singers, Venezuelan Freddy Ramos and Cuban Diego Coppiner, do a very good job at the microphone. They do “soneos” around the chorus with creativity and good sense of the “clave”. I especially liked Freddy Ramos, who does his “soneos” with creativity, “maña”, and flavor.

• “Tromboranga” has a great band sound, coming through as solid, cohesive, and with good “afinque”. Joaquin Arteaga is masterful at congas, timbales, and bongoes. The recording quality of the album is also very good.

My Favorites in “Tromboranga”

• My favorite song is the very 1st one, “Amigo el Ratón”. This song establishes the tone for the rest of the album with an aggressive, danceable tune, and with very creative “soneos” by Freddy Ramos.

• My favorite “soneo” of the album has to be the one in “No Quiero Trabajar”. Here Freddy Ramos sings “si el trabajo dejara dinero, los burros tendrian Master Card”. I found that very original and funny.

Suggestions About “Tromboranga”

• The only thing I didn’t like about this album the lyrics of a couple of songs. “Bombolaye” and “Arroz con Manteca” are good songs from a musical perspective. However, the themes of these songs are so mindlessly simplistic that they become somewhat boring to listen after a while. They are still great dance tunes.

• Another thing to note is that for a “Salsa dura” band with a trombone-based sound, its surprising that only one song (if I remember correctly) has a trombone solo. Even though I would have expected more trombone solos from the Tromboranga band, this does not take away one bit from the album performance quality.

My Recommendation for “Tromboranga”

Tromboranga on album cover
Barcelona-based Tromboranga’s debut Salsa album is a strong one.

• “Tromboranga” is a very good Salsa music album, with good Salsa music that will appeal to Salsa dancers. It has entertaining songs that Salsa music lovers will enjoy. The album uses elements of classic Salsa music, with solos, 2nd chorus, and some with 2nd mambos, to keep songs interesting.

• This is a good, solid performing band. In addition, this debut album is well produced by themselves (produced by Joaquin Arteaga, Freddy Ramos, and Vladimir Peña).

• After listening to this album, I would love to see Tromboranga perform live.

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  1. Tromboranga says

    Here you can watch live Tromboranga !

    1. Hector Aviles says

      Thanks for sharing the link! I certainly enjoy Tromboranga’s music.

  2. Freddy says

    Excellent review! sharp and spicy comments and macerated knowledge and good taste for music.
    Many thanks for the support. we had just released our 2nd album “Al mal tiempo Buena Salsa” you`re very welcome to come and chek it out in our web page regards to all from Barcelona!!!!.
    Freddy Ramos

    1. Hector Aviles says

      Freddy – I just started to listen to your 2nd Tromboranga album and it sounds as good as the 1st one. You guys have a really good swing and original material. Stay tune for a full review here in Latino Music Café.

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