If you follow Latino Music Café or Salsa news elsewhere, you know that “Una Nueva Historia” was produced by Sergio George, the 2013 Latin Grammy winner for “Producer of the Year”. He contacted Charlie Aponte shortly after he announced his retirement from El Gran Combo to sign him up as a solo artist.
The 10 songs in the album have, for the most part, the signature Sergio George sound, although the addition of a Baritone sax in some cuts, and the Puerto Rican “cuatro” guitar in the track “Asi Es Puerto Rico” camouflaged the sound we associate with other Sergio George artists, perhaps in an attempt to give Charlie “his own” sound.
Songs in “Una Nueva Historia”
Sergio knows that Charlie’s fan base is not about pop-Salsa, and the first 3 songs (“Asi Es Puerto Rico”, “Para Festejar”, and “Gracias Salsero”) have a more heavier Salsa style or a more folk style as in “Asi es Puerto Rico”, a style that Charlie fully dominates. Geez, “Gracias Salsero” even has a (short) timbal solo! When was the last time you heard a timbal solo in a Salsa solotist album?
The next 7 songs in “Una Nueva Historia” dive into romantic themes, but Sergio George keeps the music fresh and varied throughout the album. For example, “Cuando No Estes” starts like a ballad and then becomes a nice Salsa with a groovy swing! (wow, I haven’t use d that “groovy” word in a while).
Below is a video Charlie Aponte performing live “Sabes Una Cosa”, which is another great sample of what’s in “Una Nueva Historia”:
Charlie Aponte sings with his signature “guy next door” style which has this “jibarito” flavor that Salsa fans loved so much during his years with El Gran Combo. “Una Nueva Historia” also gets Charlie into romantic pop-Salsa themes that have worked so well for producer extraordinaire Sergio George with his other artists.
I believe that as long as Charlie Aponte keeps a healthy mix of more aggressive non-romantic Salsa with romantic Salsa themes, he will keep his loyal fan base from El Gran Combo. With “Una Nueva Historia”, Charlie Aponte and Sergio George did just that!
I enjoyed Charlie Aponte’s 1st solo Salsa album very much!
Charlie Aponte talks about “Una Nueva Historia”