When I first heard 3D’s Ritmo de Vida, I was left with a feeling of interest, so I played it again, and felt a sense of respect for the two composers, guitarist Michael Tate and percussionist Chris Amelar.
Imagine two non-Latinos composing salsa tunes and boleros incorporating R&B rhythms with clave, soca with montunos, and old-fashioned country tunes with Black gospel music. You have to hear it to believe that it can all sound really good when you put it together.
This is a timely CD because it reflects the United States at its present as a melting pot of cultures with an emerging Latin influence that is adding its flavor to an already savory brew of American music. Add a touch of Caribbean spice, and you’ve got a concoction that is truly unique and difficult to ignore.
The most interesting tune on the CD is "Country Cubano." It starts off like an old Western tune. Then, there’s a montuno break that takes you into a salsa groove with a nice trumpet solo. The song ends with an electrifying Black gospel sound. Impressive.
It must also be noted that there is a well-composed salsa tune, "Mi Amor Tu Volverás," which features Herman Olivera on vocals that stays true to the authentic roots of salsa. The instrument version of that song can also be heard on the CD. If you a fan of the experimentation of Afro-Latin-Caribbean-American music, then get this CD. Ritmo de Vida is truly an ambitious effort and an unforgettable album.