Herman Olivera’s 2014 Salsa release “La Voz del Caribe” was one of the good Latin music CD’s I couldn’t get to review in 2014.
I couldn’t get to all the Latin music albums I wanted to review in 2014. Therefore, in January I’ll do some short reviews of music releases I wanted to blog about.
Salsa for Classic Salsa Fans
If you know Herman Olivera you know he is also known as “El Sonero del Siglo 21”. His 2014 release “La Voz del Caribe” is a very good album with a lot of swing and great singing.
Herman is known as one of the most creative and aggressive improvisers in Salsa music. He comes from the old school of Salsa of Manny Oquendo y su Conjunto Libre, and Eddie Palmieri, among others. This background gave way to his 1st single of the album, titled “El Heredero del Sabor”. Here he proclaims to have inherited the Salsa flag from the best soneros of the 1960’s and 70’s.
Another of my album favorite songs is “Libre Para Siempre”. In this song, Herman Olivera provides a tribute to his mentor Manny Oquendo and his time with the Conjunto Libre.
To give the album musical variety, Herman Olivera included a cha cha titled “Añorando el Cha Cha Cha”. Interestingly, he takes us in an imaginary trip to the golden days of New York’s Palladium Ballroom, to enjoy a cha cha from one of the big bands that used to play there, more prominently the Big 3 of Machito, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodriguez.
“La Voz del Caribe” is a Superb Salsa Album
I found “La Voz del Caribe” to be a great Salsa album. As you can see in the album cover, the album was “Hecho en Venezuela” (made in Venezuela). It used a collective of Venezuelan musicians lead by Francisco Requena. Additionally, Willie Melo and Julio Cesar Estrada also participated in the album. It was released under the Salsaneo Records label. Finally, the musicianship is very good and the songs are tailored to Hernan Olivera’s style of singing. In them, he does creative improvisations around the song theme just as the old Salsa singers used to do.
Herman Olivera Video “El Heredero del Sabor”
Here is the official video of the single “El Heredero del Sabor”. The video won’t win any awards, but it gives you a sense for the good Salsa in “La Voz del Caribe”.