........So, I go to see Spike Lee's 25th Hour when it comes out in 2003. I am enjoying the film, but I, ever on the hunt for good music, hear this 70s latin thing during a club scene in Lee's joint. I read the credits, check the movie guides, and nothing. It is obviously a sample, and not listed, anyplace. Well, it drives a music man like me crazy when he wants something, but can't find it. What WAS that music?
Months and many web postings later, and finally somebody writes "oh, that's Cymande." "A band?" I ask. "Yeah." Which just shows you no matter how long you have been collecting and no matter how much you know about music, something great ALWAYS slips through your fingers.
Obviously, I am pointing and clicking on this right away. I knew I had at least a fraction of a good song on my hands--it turned out that "Bra" was the short sample in the film. (What does bra mean in spanish? I don't think this is a song about underwear.) But I had no idea of how good this band was until I played the album
This is tight, taunt, latin funk--and I empahsize the word funk. By the time Cymande emerged in 1972, Santana was already into long fussion jams. This music is nothing like that. Some of the solos are long, but only when they fit. Cymande sets a tight, funky groove that always has a compelling rhythmic edge, and mine it for all it is worth. There is absolutely no fat on this music. The playing is excellent. A lot of little insertions happen in these ecconomical little grooves, and you hear more each time you play the album.
Fantastic record. Don't be an idiot like I was. Get this on your radar, now.