Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Pop Music Review

Slipping Into a Groove With Los Super Seven

March 16, 2001|ERNESTO LECHNER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

When Los Super Seven opened its show Wednesday at the House of Blues with the raucous "Compay Gato," the performance was a little too hesitant to capture the sheer magic of the the formidable Latin music collective's new recording. Entitled "Canto," Los Super Seven's second album is an instant classic, the kind of record that probably will be regarded with the awe reserved for the timeless sides of a Tito Puente or a Jose Alfredo Jimenez.

Los Seven's momentary lack of focus was perfectly understandable. It was the first time the group had performed an entire concert in its new configuration, which includes Los Lobos members Cesar Rosas and David Hidalgo, as well as singers Raul Malo, Rick Trevino and Ruben Ramos.

But after a few rhythmic missteps and an awkward dance routine by the evening's guest vocalist Martha Gonzalez, the excellent singer with the Los Angeles group Quetzal, the group warmed up to its kaleidoscopic repertoire of country songs from all over Latin America.

Malo's hieratic interpretation of the Cuban classic "Siboney," with its tribal beats and epic phrasing, was a pivotal moment. His raw delivery bewitched even those too young to know about Ernesto Lecuona, the song's writer.

Although it is clearly infatuated with the overpowering swing of the Afro-Cuban vibe, the group shone in songs that were closer to the Mexican ranchera sensibility, even if the tunes were not from Mexico per se. If you didn't know that "Paloma Guarumera" was a Colombian joropo, for instance, you would have sworn Los Super Seven were playing a Mexican huapango.

The show also signified a coming of age of sorts for percussionist Michito Sanchez. The Cuban conguero has been a staple of the L.A. tropical scene for years. He dazzled audience and band members alike with powerful solos on the timbales, congas and bongos, showcasing the focused musicality of a real master.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|