Mambo Duro represents quite a departure for Tumbao Habana from their previous
recordings. If the first song opens like Manolín’s La Bola, it moves on quickly. There are a couple of forays into Bachata and Salsa Romantica, but for the most part this is Timba edged Salsa all the way through. Alexander Abreu guests on A La Familia Cubana and if you hear a flute, yes it is El Tosco.
Star of the show for me is Ella No Tiene Na’, a pacey and relentless number, with tasty arrangements and a liberal dose of efectos. La Nena, Padrino, A La Familia Cubana, and De Qué Lado Está La Luna also strike me as decent bread and butter and well worth a listen. The arrangements of many songs seem to use cliché and originality in equal measure, perhaps to please everyone. Because of that, there’s not much here that really shines for me listening at home, but at a social, I’d be looking around for a dance to many of these. For me, if I had to choose, their 2000 release, Tumbao Habanais better, but this is well worth a punt.