Sean Bellaviti Conjunto Lacalu: Toronto Mambo

Sean Bellaviti and Conjunto Lacalu: Toronto MamboIf there is one place outside Cuba, El Barrio and the Bay Area, where African music survives and thrives it is in Toronto. This is largely due to the fact that Toronto is home to a very large population of splendid Cuban musicians and musicians – like Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer – who are passionately in love with Afro-Caribbean music. But it is also because of one venue, the Lula Lounge, that has championed the cause of Afro-Cuban music (as well as, of course, all South American music including Brasilian music via regular events and the now famous Lula World Festival). The rock-steady growth of the venue – thanks to a management that is both passionate about the arts, street smart, and thanks to a hugely supportive private patrons and, especially the Ontario Arts Council and a Canada Arts Council, no matter what the shade of political animal holding forth in Queen’s Park or on The Hill – has encouraged arts in general, and the art of every country to survive and flourish.

One of the beneficiaries of all this is Sean Bellaviti, an Italian-born piano virtuoso and a regular at the Lula Lounge. This recording, Toronto Mambo by Bellaviti and his Conjunto Lacalu is a sublime musical palimpsest to the Afro-Caribbean idiom. It is also a celebration of one of the world’s most vivacious musical styles and Sean Bellaviti must be congratulated right out of the gates for his unselfish manner in which he has shared the stage with a group of very talented musicians, some of whom are first generation Canadian-Cubans for whom it will be doubly difficult to stay true to their Latin heritage.

The album has everything: a fairly extended set of music that seems to gain in energy and momentum as the record progresses – from mambo to guaguancó, rumba, bolero and more. Sean Bellaviti has made four significant contributions to the album in addition to his pianism, that is, two of the compositions have been written in collaboration with Wilfrido Urbaez and Alessandra Da Rocha respectively. Both are talented writers in their own right. Another four compositions come from the pen of Pablosky Rosales, whose hands and fingers are otherwise better known for tearing up the strings of the tres. These eight (plus two more fine works) provide all the material necessary for Afro-Cuban music to burn with a crackling fire throughout. The raw excitement of this performance – through steaming trumpet-playing and the pungent sonorities of voices from luminaries that include Rosales himself, Alberto Alberto, Adis Rodriguez Galindo, Yani Borell and Angel Luis Marquez. And let’s not forget the ubiquitous Luis Orbegoso who plays bongó, campana and tumba, and also produces yet another fine record in the process.

Track List: 1: La Llave; 2: El Amolador; 3: Caballo Viejo; 4: Un Novio Músico; 5: Suavemente Canto Yo (a lo Palmieri); 6: Micaela; 7: La Mawa; 8: Lucy; 9: En San Leopoldo; 10: Toronto Mambo.

Personnel: Sean Bellaviti: piano; Luis Orbegoso: bongó and campana (1 – 5, 7 – 10), tumba (6), harmony and vocals (8), lead vocal (1); Alex Naar: maracas and güiro; Andres Magno: timbales (1 – 3, 5, 8, 10); Jairo Acuña: congas (1 – 5, 7 – 10); Rosendo Leon Jr: bongo de palo and campaña (6); Pablosky Rosales: coro, tres (1 – 5, 7 – 9), lead vocal (8); Adis Rodriguez Galindo: coro, lead vocal (4, 10); Alberto Alberto: coro, lead vocal (7, 9); Yani Borell: lead vocal (2, 5); Angel Luis Marquez: harmony vocal (9), lead vocal (6); James Rhodes: trumpet (1 – 6, 8 – 10); John Pitman: trumpet (1 – 5, 7 – 10), trumpet solo (5); Patrice Barbanchon: trumpet (1 – 8, 10); Alexis Baro: trumpet (1), trumpet solo (7); Rufino Maceiro: trumpet & solo (9); Vern Dorge: baritone saxophone (1, 10); Ruddy Bolaños: bass (1 – 8, 10); Roberto Riveron: bass (9); Jimmy Bosch: trombone (7); Herman Olivera: lead vocal (3).

Released: 2017
Label: Lula World Records
Runtime: 51:25

Raul Da Gama
Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

More from author

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts

FROM OUR VINYL STOREspot_img
FROM OUR VINYL STOREspot_img

Featured Posts

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

El Gran Fellové: Part 2- Enter Chocolate & Celio González

Early Sunday morning… I awoke to the pleasant surprise of a Google Alert in my email. I clicked to find Variety Magazine had published an...

El Gran Fellové: Part 1- The Beginning

Francisco Fellové Valdés (October 7, 1923 – February 15, 2013), also known as El Gran Fellové (The Great Fellove), was a Cuban songwriter and...

Bobby Paunetto, New York City and The Synthesis of Music

Bobby Paunetto was an unforgettable composer, arranger, musician and recording artist. Latin Jazz Network honors him on the tenth anniversary of his death (8.10.10). His...

Jazz Plaza 2020: Ancient to the Future

Chapter four of our series: 35th Jazz Plaza International Festival in Havana In recent months I found myself in profound reflection of the term...

Ray Martinez and the Forgotten Legacy of Jazz

Sometime in the very near future, several of the jazz world's best known writers and musicologists will meet in some obscure conclave to pool...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more