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Fiiieeeeeesta… – Michel Maza

£14.00

If Timba ever had an individual figurehead, arguably,

as lead vocalist for La Charanga Habanera, it was Michel Maza aka El Menor De La Salsa. The great Timba wave culminated and broke in 1997 for La Charanga Habanera. Following the release of Tremendo Delirio and a subsequent concert that was taken off air, the band was suspended by the state. It fragmented, then reformed in three diverging parts. Maza moved between the resulting bands and his own formations before moving to Peru. To be lifted up by forces and circumstances you don’t understand and turned into an idol must be confusing at any age. So much worse for it to happen so young and for history to then pull the rug from under your feet. Though far from the end of his recording career, this album could be seen as what that wave washed up on the beach.
Maza’s band is competent but hardly blazing a trail into new territory. Their arrangements are something of a retreat from Timba back into Salsa. The strongest tracks are versions of Charanga Habanera hits, while much of the other material is filler. These masterpieces, Me Sube La Fiebre, Tómame Si Quieres (Lo Siento Por Ti) and Lola, penned by Giraldo Piloto, Danny Lozada and David Calzado, show that there’s more to art than the figurehead that delivers it. That these songs survive and occasionally even benefit from treatment at a lower level testifies to their brilliance. Maza is in any case at home in the material and has no need to emote. For me, this CD is worth it for the tragic and nostalgic twist it gives two of those tracks particularly. These tracks I first heard brimming with cocky, youthful brilliance 25 or more years ago. A couple of the new songs also pass muster in my view.

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01 **Me Sube La Fiebre** 4:54

02 *Súbeme El Voltaje* 3:58

03 **Lola** 4:09

04 Soy Un Juguete Bien Caro 4:56

05 *Como Un Volcán* 4:39

06 Se Perdió Nuestro Amor 5:33

07 *Tómame Se Quieres* 5:04 (Lo Siento Por Ti)

08 Quien Te Supo Amar 3:48

09 El Portero 5:02

10 Caramelo 5:04

11 Descarga Del Menor 5:43

12 Sigo Buscando 4:10