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Cumbias Para Bailar

Orquesta Del Chamaco Avila con Carlos Oropeza – Cumbias Para Bailar (Discos Corona, 196?)

It’s not really right to call this a cumbia record, but rather an American re-interpretation of cumbia. There is no information online about Chamaco Avila nor the Carlos Oropeza featured on this record. Discos Corona was an LA based record label that released quite a few Latin-themed records, many of them Mariachi or Boleros. I found THIS website that lists a pretty complete discography (minus the record here, but I’m sending this link asap) and as you can tell a lot of it is exotica compilation type stuff that seems to have been very popular with record labels in the 50s and 60s.

As it’s an American production there is a heavy cha-cha influence throughout the record, with loads of brass and lots of bright organ. The orchestra can’t be very big, it’s definitely only a few horns, the organ, a conguero, a drummer and some light work on the timbales. The fact that it’s a small group is a huge plus because the groove is right in front and not buried underneath a ton of other instruments – the drumming is tight and loud, the organ is pretty funky and the horns only pop when they need to.

Overall, this is a great record, with some really fiery grooves that will put a smile on your face and get you dancing. Tracks like “Simon,” “Cumbiamberita,” and “Los Soldados” are heavy hitters with a lot of swing. If you’ve heard my EN VIVO DESDE EL OTRO LADO mix you’re already aware of the dancefloor bomb that is “Canta Pescador,” a heavy hitting cumbia-track that is led by the summer-sweet organ work of Carlos Oropeza. I’m listening to it right now and am having trouble sitting still! “Borrachera” is another great track as it storms in with these salsa-influenced heavy horns, and organ that wont quit – really, a late-night track that will seal the deal every time. However, there are a couple of sleepers on here where the cha-cha just gets a little redundant or the organ comes off a little cheesy, but that’s just my taste and you may be more interested the tracks that I dismissed.

I’m proud to say that I present to you, dear reader, a record that is neither found online nor is there any mention of the record or the players. And as I always say, if it’s not available through Google it doesn’t exist. Well, I guess I just gave birth to a 40+ year old cumbia record!

Link is in the commmmmmments.

Categories: 1960s, cumbia
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