There is something alluring about the music of South America, it has that happy, upbeat atmosphere that tends to make people smile the world over and seems to make friends wherever it goes. Much in the same way as reggae makes your head bounce, Latin music makes your feet move.
ZambaLando are a five-piece band from Swindon that are making heads turn with a blend of Salsa, merengue, bossa nova and a cup of jazz and funk thrown in. It’s a powerful mix and one definitely worth an evening of your time.
Led by Miguel Lara Moreno whose name alone is a hint to the roads he has travelled. The project is a fusion of styles, mixing Argentinian Zamba with Peruvian Lando (hence the name) and seeing what comes out the other end, and, fortunately, the result is wonderful.
This is music soaked in latin vibes with the accessibility that this style of music excels in. From the heartfelt and positive ‘Carry On’ through the catchy ‘Chemistry’ to my favourite track ‘Freddy’ the music is authentic and cleverly arranged. There is time for slower moments with ‘I Fall in Love’ before the music again drifts through the South American continent like a Lonely Planet guidebook. Please spend some time in ‘Maquina’ and ‘Pum Pum’ before taking a boat ride through ‘Quiero Nadar En Ti’ towards ‘Sin Fronteras’ where the whole ride can start again.
Now I’m no expert in all tings Latin, sure I listen to a little Huey Morgan and I know about the Beuno Vista Social Club that alerted the world to this type of music some thirty years ago but from the perspective of the outsider looking in, this is a world worth visiting more often. The beats are complex, chord changes come from nowhere and it’s set against a rhythm that makes me want to drink rum and dance with women in red dresses until the sun comes up.
I’ve had the fortune of seeing this band live and as good as the album is, it lacks the grit and sheer theatre of the real thing. The musicians are brilliant, sharing solos and an energy that this music requires, so my advice is this, download the album, some cheeky dance moves and catch the band live.