A mi me gusta la Plena!

Plena Libre - Mas Libre


01. La Plena Bien Sabrosa
02. Maria Luisa
03. El Bravo
04. Tema De Luis Gabriel
05. Chiviriquiton
06. Somos Diferentes
07. Malcria'o
08. Quiereme
09. A Mi Manera
10. Dos Ojos
11. Pa'qui Pa'lla

Plena Libre es:

GARY NUÑES - Bajo "baby" y eléctrico, coro y arreglos musicales, productor y direción musical
ISRAEL VELEZ - Pandero Seguidor 
ANGEL SANTIAGO - Pandero Seguidor
PABLO GONZALEZ - Güiro y percusión menor
VICTOR MUNIZ - Cantante, coro y punteador
RUBEN ROMAN - Cantante, coro y percusión menor
CARLOS "KALIE" VILLANUEVA - Cantante y Percusión menor
RAFAEL TORRES - Piano y teclados
EDWIN CLEMENTE - Timbal, batá y campana

Músicos Invitados:

JOSE ALBERTO "El Canário" Cantante en "Somos Diferentes"
NESTOR TORRES Flauta en " Tema de Luiz Gabriel"
PEPE LUCAS Piano en "Malcria'o"
CHARLIE SEPULVEDA Trumpeta en "El Bravo"
JORGE LABOY Guitarras en "El Bravo" y " Quiéreme"
FREDDIE DIAS Percusión brasileña en "El Bravo"
JUAN CASTILLO Sinfonía de mano en "Mária Luisa"
GEORGIE SALGADO Batería en "Quiéreme"
HECTOR PEREZ Güiro cubano y maracas en "El Bravo" y "Somos Diferentes"



 Founded by bassist Gary Nunez in 1994, Plena Libre reclaimed the long-ignored Puerto Rican folklore-derived plena style from the obscurity following its brief '50s/early-'60s popularity. Contemporary dance arrangements were all that was needed to return the style to prominence; the group's debut album, Juntos Y Revueltos, was recorded on a shoestring budget, but proved an instant sensation on the island. Subsequent recordings included an eponymous 1998 album, Plena Libre's first for the international market. Mas Libre followed two years later. 

Plena Libre revives the best of Puerto Rican musical traditions
By Jesse "Chuy" Varela

TALKING TO bassist Gary Nuñez, leader of the Puerto Rican ensemble Plena Libre, you realize he's on a mission to modernize some of the island's oldest beats with a new outlook. Born out of the island's Afro-Caribbean experience, the sounds of bomba y plena are what musically identify the African-Spanish heritage so prominent in its culture. Sometimes messing with tradition is not looked at favorably, but not with Plena Libre. "We're considered one of the top orchestras regardless of genre," says Nuñez in Spanish from his home in San Juan. "Yes, Plena Libre is a bomba y plena band, but people don't see us as that. We're like any other artists interpreting our music."
They are considered youthful revivalists who rescued a genre that fell into obscurity after its reign of popularity in the 1950s with pivotal figures like Rafael Cortijo and Ismael Rivera. Since its formation in 1994, Plena Libre has unclogged the cultural logjam against these folkloric forms and scored a hit with "El Party." As a result, the band has inspired many salseros and young Puerto Rican jazz artists to explore these traditional rhythms.    

The bomba y plena garnered a foothold as a popular expression in the late 1800s. During the Spanish-American War, the idiom served as the newspapers of the people as troubadours sang about events and prominent figures. It was largely a guitar and hand-percussion sound with soulful, tearful voices. In the 1920s, it migrated to New York City, and troubadours like Rafael Hernandez and Manuel Jimenez ("Canario") became the voice of the people. The essence of bomba y plena lies in its communal form as a percussive act of call and response. Plena Libre makes strong use of these rudiments, including the handheld panderetas, to pound out infectious beats on tambourinelike hand-drums without the metal shingles.
"We put the panderos back in fashion," Nuñez explains. "They disappeared with the music of Rafael Cortijo, who was the first to begin using conga drums to play bomba y plena. The panderos were forgotten. They are instruments that were invented to be played with this music. That's why we use them." From its 1995 self-produced debut CD, Cogelo, que ahi te va!, the 13-piece Plena Libre has stayed largely intact with virtuosic performers like conga-drummer Gina Villanueva and singer Giovanni Lugo. The band's latest album, Mas Libre (RykoLatino), features the prolific songwriting skills of Nuñez.
"For our generation, thematic subjects from a bygone era about sugarcane and trains don't connect," Nuñez says. "Our reality has to do more with cellphones and beepers. We're another generation that bring a different point of view which I try to reflect in the themes Plena Libre touches. I believe that we need to show who we are today as Puerto Ricans. So we do songs that touch on the question of Vieques and that articulate the sentiments of our people--in principle, we are still troubadours." 
 ...Whereas bomba is purely African origin, plena blends elements from Puerto Ricans' wide cultural backgrounds, including music that the Taíno tribes may have used during their ceremonies. This type of music first appeared in Ponce about 100 years ago, when performing the plena became a hallmark of Spanish tradition and coquetry.
Instruments used in plena include the güiro, a dried-out gourd whose surface is cuts with parallel grooves and, when rubbed with a stick, produces a raspy and rhythmical percussive noise. The Taínos may have invented this instrument. From the guitars brought to the New World by the Spanish "conquistadores" emerged the 10-stringed cuatro. To the güiro and cuatro added the tambourine, known as panderos, originally derived from Africa. Dancing plena became a kind of living newspaper. Singers recited the events of the day and often satirized local politicians or scandals. Sometimes plenas were filled with biting satire; at other times, they commented on major news events of the day, such as a devastating hurricane.

Bomba y plena remain the most popular forms of folk music on the island, and many cultural events highlight this music for entertainment. ...

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