Originally, this article was going to be about the Latin Grammys’ Best Cumbia/Vallenato Album nominations. However, and after listening to the five albums, I concluded that I simply don’t know enough about Cumbia or Vallenato to come up with intelligent observations.
I decided to tell you instead about one of the songs in La Santa Cecilia’s nominated album – QUIERO VERTE FELIZ – that was particularly interesting to me on account of the collaboration with Nicaraguan Salsero Luis Enrique.
According to an interview (in Spanish) on the LA Times, “Solo en mis Sueños” is a Son Jarocho, which is not what we know Luis Enrique for. La Santa Cecilia’s band members explained that they had heard Luis Enrique do música llanera with the Venezuelan group C4, and since that genre is not unlike Son Jarocho, they figured it’d be a good fit. Sure enough, Luis Enrique turned out to be a good lyric writer and performer of the song, they said.
QUIERO VERTE FELIZ is listed in the Best Cumbia/Vallenato Album category, and while the album has the cumbia sound that La Santa Cecilia is known for, it also has a reggae song (“Hierba Mala”), a very nice rock-ish track (“Siempre Estoy Pensando En Ti”), and the Son Jarocho already mentioned. I encourage you to listen to the album as it’s all around good stuff.
The other releases nominated in the Best Cumbia/Vallenato Album category are:
- FELIZ ANIVERSARIO – Jean Carlos Centeno and Ronal Urbina
- EL DE SIEMPRE – Felipe Pelaez
- YO SOY COLOMBIA – Zona 8 R and Rolando Ochoa
- CLASICOS DE MI CUMBIA – Checo Acosta (I enjoyed this album. It’s new arrangements of old cumbia songs that I remember from my childhood; songs like “El Africano,” for example.)