Singer-dancer-teacher Totó La Momposina`s life has been dedicated to preserving the music of Colombia s Caribbean coastline, where African, indigenous Indian, and Spanish cultures mingle in a unique musical tradition. Tambolero -- originally released in 1993 as La Candela Viva and regarded by many as one of Colombia s most important and seminal albums -- has been re-created and re-imagined for 2015 as part of Real World Records Gold series.
It was during the search for original master tapes to find parts for a Michel Cleis dance track that Toto s producer (and now son-in-law) John Hollis discovered something remarkable.
Among the original 2 masters in Real World s vaults was a forgotten treasure of material: some 40 takes of 20 different songs. Not only a wealth of music that didn t make the original album, but a number of previously unreleased songs as well. The analog tapes were baked to become playable once again, then digitized for the process of re-assessing, re-editing, and over-dubbing, including new vocals by Toto s two granddaughters.
The result is Tambolero. More than just a re-issue of her original debut recording, it is a genuine re-appraisal and re-imagining of it -- presented in a 24-page, hard backed CD book with extended sleevenotes and archival photos -- in which Totó continues to reflect the multicultural experience of her beloved Colombia.
This classic album [La Candela Viva] of traditional Afro-Colombian music from 1991-92 has been remastered, retitled, resorted, and re-packaged as a hard bound illustrated booklet now with thorough notes from the artist, the producer, and a critic along with details about instruments and tunes. Totó la Momposina traveled to Europe in the 1970s and by 1984 had made her first recordings. A performance at WOMAD that year increased exposure to her poorly known music (even in Colombia). This album in its original release gathered fans over the decades and has been a best seller; other albums soon followed. The fourth generation of musicians, she was raised on the Magdalena River island of Mompós [Mompox] in the northwestern part of the country. The musical styles consists of tambores [from the African tree-trunk drum], sextetos, and gaitas [from the Indian flute made of cactus wood], with various dance rhythms, including the famous cumbia as well as puya, chandé, and garabato. Other instruments are the bombo or tambora [an Indian double-headed bass drum]; tiple [12-string guitar variant]; bongos, guitar, double bass, claves; maracas; and guache [Indian cylindrical rattle of bamboo or tin]. The sound engineers did wonders and the album sparkles. They had found 20 tracks and 40 takes in the archives from which to recreate the album, recording some new bass parts to enhance the tracks. Exciting rhythms flow with Totó la Momposino`s strong vocals and her large ensemble of musicians. Refreshed after 23 years, the album is destined to bring a new audience (like myself). It leaves the listener breathless