Bio Ritmo "La Verdad" (ECR702) LP 12" 33rpm
Of all of the working salsa bands today, there are only a few who transcend the conventions established 40 some odd years ago. Bio Ritmo is one of those few post-modern orchestras that turn things a bit sideways. With arrangements that stretch and twist, creative use of electronics, a bit of swanky boogaloo, retro-cool and surreal organ riffs, a touch of dance-trance-world-funk, they mash it all up. Think Eddie Palmieri's trombone based La Perfecta, throw in a bit of James Bond, shades of Zappa's Hot Rats instrumentalism, and, although they might wink at the knowing listener, they jam like hell. They're smart, but definitely not at the expense of the music: very hip, and very danceable. There are gems here, especially the pristine "Dina's Mambo," but it's all primo stuff that should be at the top of your grab bag. Salsa modernism at its very best.