El Gallo Bueno
Experimental salsa in the spirit of Sun Ra? This is a real musical adventure, containing all the sounds of cultures clashing. Only one word can describe this finely tuned, off-kilter release: quirky. Creative guiding light Abraham Gomez-Delgado serves up his saucy, often startling version of musical worlds in collision: Latin music combined with everything from elements of free jazz to heavy-metal riffing. With “Rumba Pa’la Niñas,” Cuban dance rhythms intersect with free jazz à la Ornette Coleman, all layered over a heavy-metal-inspired Mozambican beat. Elsewhere, the Puerto Rican “plena” supports a brash, sassy mix of attitude and influences. On top, a virtuoso horn section storms out everything from punchy Afrobeat to Eastern European wails. From found sounds to the inspired lunacy of “Cemi Snowmobile,” this free-flowing, organic work is the freshest approach to Latin music in some time.