If you’re a Buffalonian who loves high-energy Latin rhythms, then man, you’ve been in hog heaven this past week. After Ozomatli put on a typically ferocious show on Thursday, you had Sunday’s powerful set by local act La Krema – 11 dudes who dish out salsa and merengue grooves with serious authority. Led by singer Jesse Pabon, whose voice was even smoother than his fedora, sunglasses and jeans ensemble, La Krema is dominated by waves of percussion – congas, timbales, cowbells, guiro, etc. Delivered by four talented players, this wall of rhythm is an intoxicating thing – enough to get people who typically don’t dance to get up and make asses of themselves.
As I sat on the Albright Knox’s back steps, where the show was being held (the first of this summer’s Buffalo News-sponsored jazz series), I saw plenty of amazingly awful moves, ranked in order of offensiveness here:
1. A middle-aged couple, man in a “Beers of Massachusetts” t-shirt, woman in flip-flops, lazily freaked each other right in front of the stage.
2. A senior citizen with a huge beard started hopping on one foot.
3. When Pabon told the crowd to “throw your hands in the air,” most of the crowd raised their arms like a referee confirming a field goal. The “wave ’em like you just don’t care” concept was lost on them.
I joke, but seriously, this show was a testament to the power of a great rhythm. People of all ages were shaking what their mother provided for them, not caring that assholes like me were criticizing their every move. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Check my review, in which I leave the dancers alone.