Over 30 years of serious music listening I've created an extremely schizophrenic music list. I may be listening to Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Sonora Carruseles, or twenty other Latin artists, and the next week I'm listening to Faith Evans, JoJo, Cassie, Usher and/or Janet Jackson. It could be the Beatles, Steely Dan, Toto, Miles Davis, Chick Corea and/or the Brecker Brothers. I actually hate listing any artists because listing a few means I'm excluding hundreds who have contributed to my music education over the years. Ask me a month from now and I could list twenty or thirty others, ignoring those in the list above.
Because I'm too lazy to put together all 367 of them in one massive list, I decided to float them out a few at a time. I’ll focus on Salsa, but take some side trips because I’ve learned about music from so many styles, and I suspect it will help you as well.
Salsa tends to be very “dense,” with many, many sounds layered on top of each other. This is part of my fascination with the music. Sometimes it’s easier to hear concepts when listening to simpler music and my introduction to salsa was more from a Latin-jazz perspective over 25 years ago.
In this 367 part series, I'll continue to expand on the details over time.
Here is one piece of music I think should be in every salsa lover's collection (and every instructor should be playing it at some point for their students):
La Salsa Nunca Se Acaba (The Salsa Never Ends) – by Susie Hansen
Buy a copy from iTunes or Amazon. Don't try to get a free copy; pay the buck and let the artist make a few cents so they can make some more music. Or purchase her CD from Susie Hansen's site.
This song is EXCELLENT and starts with the clave, and adds instruments one at a time until the complete band is firing on all cylinders.
This is one of those songs you should listen to 100 times or more per the article referenced above. The introduction alone (up to the first major break) should be played over and over until you hear what each instrument is contributing to the mix.
Download this tune and start listening today. Put it on your iPod (set to repeat) or burn a CD. Play it as you drive, eat lunch, or go on a dinner date (get those dual earplugs so your date can hear as well). If you only have one set of headphones, ignore your dinner partner for a few minutes, I'm sure they'll understand.
We'll discuss the details and I'll drill down as soon as possible. The more you've listened to it, the more you'll get from our discussions.
Let me know what you think of the tune! (And check out the next article in this series, where this tune is used for a performance.)
Great works are performed not by speed or strength but perseverance.