locked in the Timba 2nd Division. The band has been around for decades, it’s a three generation family dynasty. They are a highly professional outfit with their own sound which includes rock solid percussion, a recognisable, trombone heavy brass section, and a lot of jazz in the keyboards. They do, without question, produce some of the best dance tracks around, when everything falls right. On that score, Cantándole A La Vida is one of their better albums.
But really, the answer isn’t so obscure. Their repertoire keeps them within a category something more like Cuban family entertainment. There’s something for everyone on their albums, most of which is fairly lighthearted, and no more than a couple of tracks for Timba heads. And to my mind, over the years, more than a few of songs that have flirted with greatness, were marred in one way or another.
If that’s the answer, it leaves an all round band which occasionally gives us some of the best Timba you’ll find. For years after I got this on CD, I didn’t really get beyond La Habana Me Queda Chiquita. The vamp has never relinquished its hook on me and this remains firmly among my all time greats. If everything else on the album pales into insignificance by comparison, some tracks would have shone brighter with less competition. There’s actually more decent Timba and Salsa here than on most of Pachito’s releases, so it’s definitely worth a listen.