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I was mesmerized when I heard the first notes of Jose Aguirre’s Cali Big Band in “Gente con Alma“. It just got better from there.
This album, nominated for Best Traditional Tropical Album at the 2021 Latin Grammy Awards, features a 23 piece big band. Aguirre, the trumpeter, producer, and musical director of Colombia’s Grupo Niche, has carried this concept big band for a few years, playing in special events. He conceptualized doing an album of Boleros with this big band and bringing a variety of guest singers.
The list includes Puerto Ricans Yan Collazo (ex-vocalist of Niche and Guayacan) and Gilberto Santa Rosa, Cubans Aymee and Lourdes Nuviola (who sang Filin-type Boleros in Cuba as a duet), Spaniard Diego El Cigala, and Colombians Javier Vazquez (Niche vocalist), Anabella, Junior Saa, Manuel Jose, and journalist/singer Adriana Chamorro (wife of Aguirre).
The Cuban-American Rey Ruiz, of fame in Colombia and Latin America as an idol of Salsa Romantica, sang “Can’t Take My eyes Off You” in two versions; one in Spanish and one in English.
All singers did a great job in their performances. No wonder the title of this album is “Gente con Alma“!
“Gente con Alma“
This project has quality and excellence written all over it. From the first notes to the heartfelt performances of the singers, to the musical arrangements and execution, this album is a great production by Aguirre. It is well worthy of its Latin Grammy nomination. If you love Boleros, and are a fan of these great Tropical Music performers, then “Gente con Alma” is for you!