As was often the case with Issac’s CDs throughout this highly creative period, his material
ranges between the MOR to the sublimely rich, layered, and absorbing, with a lot in between. La Primera Noche is typical of this. There are a few covers of traditional songs, including Pedro Flores’ Obsesión. Originally a Bolero, Issac gives it a sort of Bolero-Cha Cha Cha treatment, with added electric guitar. Celina Gonzalez’ El Punto Cubano is pleasant enough but Canción works best for me out of this group. Also typical of Issac’s accomodation to mainstream Salsa, there is La Sandunguita. A good tempo for salsa dancers, it does not disconcert in the way of much contemporary Timba, and crossed over. The structure is four bars square but the arrangements do add some interest.
I save the best till last. I have no idea how many times I have heard Amigo Juan over the years, but in spite of its occasionally over logical horns, I never fail to get lost in this song. Slowish mid-tempo, gentle, but very danceable the groove it establishes oozes flavour. One of his best ever in my view. Mi Romántica, Amigo, a duet with the late Cheo Feliciano, La Primera Noche and Que Me Disculpen have all found their way onto my play lists over the years. All have interesting, jazz infused arrangements, good hooks and delicious percussion. All dancers. Five songs that still sound very fresh after nearly 20 years isn’t bad in my book.