Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Yomo Toro

  • Funky Jibaro [Antilles, 1988] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Funky Jibaro [Antilles, 1988]
Since there's more "world music" than anybody can hear, not to mention enjoy, often preferences are arbitrary. No aficionado of Spanish romanticism, I've never gotten into salsa, but I happened to go see Toro at S.O.B.'s, where I was won over by his unassuming fingerpicked mastery of the cuatro (kind of a large 10-string mandolin), as well as the unassuming cornball showmanship of his group. Maybe that's why I like his sweet mountain record better than, say, Daniel Ponce's hot city record or Nana Vasconcelos's big ethnomusicological record on the same label, or maybe it's because I've always resisted horny bands while favoring the simple charanga this vaguely recalls. A salsa trumpeter I know says he likes it too--sound reminds him of Penguin Cafe Orchestra. B+