Following on from their previous two releases `Salsa Con Conciencia` and `Mi Tumbao Social`, New York based Salsa band La Excelencia have delivered their eagerly awaited `Ecos Del Barrio` album.
For anyone that`s not already familiar with the band, La Excelencia have been making waves within the Salsa music scene since their inception in 2005, due to their raw hard-hitting sound and conscious song-writing, as well as their great live shows. The band was founded by percussionists Jose Vazquez-Cofresi and Julian Silva, who have self-funded the releases through their own `Handle with Care Productions` imprint.
Onto the album, and after a brief intro track, the album kicks off in true La Excelencia style, courtesy of `Pa`l Mundo Entero` and the trademark horns that have become synonymous with the bands sound. There`s no gentle easing into things here, but this is La Excelencia - full on and in your face from the off!!
There are a real variety of styles brought out in this album, from the fast-paced `Dale Oportunided` and its lovely piano undertones courtesy of the hugely talented Willy Rodriguez, to the insanely-soulful Tres-driven cha-cha of `Guerrero`, and the lovely strings evident on `Maria`.
There`s a lot here that epitomises the raw sound of the band that we`re used to, but there`s also a real maturing of their sound and production throughout this album, particularly in the great dance floor burners of `Nueva York Sin Ti` and `Iyáñlá`, the cha-cha of `Vagabundo`, and the delightful `Descarga La Excelencia (Tsumugi)`, which provides the musicians with a great platform on which to highlight their impressive skills!
In summary, this is great leap forward for a band that are constantly continuing to challenge and push boundaries within the Salsa music scene. There`s a real maturity about their sound now, while the conscientious lyrics remain, and the album production and sequencing is top drawer!!! There`s a lot of danceable material throughout, and I expect this CD to receive a lot more airtime in Salsa clubs than the previous two releases, and this is also a collection of tracks that are going to further enhance the bands already impressive live shows.
Finally, it`s not just the music either with this band, they bring great design concepts and artwork to accompany the soundsâ€¦ the whole image is complete¦ La Excelencia are a band that are totally relevant to today, they`re cool, and a group that the younger generation of salseras can really relate to. (Reviewed by Steve / DJ Torqueo - Salsacentral)
La Excelencia ran from 2005-2012 and in 2013 reorganized under the name Orquesta SCC which is a salsa dura orchestra based in New York City.