Ramón Ropaín / Combo bonito / Brinca la cuerda

September 21, 1967 is the date scrawled on the ride-out groove of this one. It’s a cool example of external influence adding a “modern” feel to Colombian cumbia. From the label:

…una agrupación orquestal que, sin quitar a nuestros ritmos sus características esenciales, su sabor ancestral, los vistiera de un nuevo ropaje.

…an orquestral arrangement that, without removing the essential characteristics nor the ancestral flavor from the rhythms, clothes them in a new wardrobe.

Brinca La Cuerda

¿Pa’ Yo? (“For me?”) is a Mecedor (“Rocker”), according to the track list.  On these older records, it’s conventional to write the genre beside the track.  However, honestly, there are so many genres and sub-genres of Colombian music that often it seems that artists just decide to make up the genre names on the fly – especially for these types of tracks where the influence could be more a subconscious blend than anything else.  The intro to this is my favorite, with the horns figuratively stretching their legs before the singer gets going.

El muñeco saltarín (“The Jumping Puppet”) has a fun, clear big-band feel.  It’s marked as “cumbia go-go”.  What’s impressive for me is how easily it integrates the basic cumbia beat that backs up the whole track.  Can you hear it?  x-x-X…, x-x-X…, x-x-X…

Lindo amanecer (“Beautiful Dawn”) is indeed a beautiful track.  Of course I can’t help also imagining it also as the ironic opening music to some American comedy from the 90s.  Is it cheesy?  I’m too biased.