Somos Son | Afrodite

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by Somos Son

"Classics with a twist" and a dancer's delight: full-sounding, crisp and tight arrangements of son, salsa, cha-cha-cha, cumbia, bolero and latin-jazz covers.
Genre: Latin: Salsa
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bilongo
5:54 $0.99
2. El Cuarto de Tula
5:17 $0.99
3. Sabor a Mi
3:57 $0.99
4. Afrodite
3:37 $0.99
5. El Canoero
4:28 $0.99
6. Perfidia
6:13 $0.99
7. Sabor a Caney
5:10 $0.99
8. Caballo Viejo
6:24 $0.99
9. Besame Mucho
5:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"This recording is one that will bring full enjoyment every time you play it and introduce you to the extraordinary sounds being heard in Santa Barbara. home to Somos Son." Nelson Rodriguez - Latin Beat Magazine

For many people outside the West Coast, the process of learning about the music being created and performed there has been a slow one. The roots from Seattle to San Diego have been rich with the diverse nationalities that have delved into the Afro-Caribbean sounds.

Back in December 1995, trumpeter/vocalist Dr. Robin Moore, now a professor of music at University of Texas, conguero Robert Clements and pianist/composer/arranger Karl Schiffmann formed Somos Son and began to bring the exciting dance rhythms of Cuba to Santa Barbara, California.

Robert, co-leader and a master percussion craftsman, has been a performer for 25 years. Karl has studied with some of Cuba’s finest keyboard players, including Chucho Valdes, Cesar “Pupy” Pedroso and Hilario Duran. Raul Rico, Jr., who for many years was the conguero for The Estrada Brothers, plays timbales on this debut CD, "Afrodite." Raul has been with Somos Son since 1996 and hosts both Latin jazz and salsa radio programs at KCLU-FM in Thousand Oaks, California.

The vocals are well-handled by Hugo Macario, who has toured with Quetzalcoatl, and José Elizarraraz, who together have their own group “Vientos Del Sur.” Malcolm Ian Peters, formerly of The Estrada Brothers and a member of Somos Son since 1996, does a formidable job on the bass. Veteran bongocero Tommy Saito, who has played with Tito Rodriguez, Hector Rivera, Rene Bloch, Paul Lopez and Bobby Montez, round out the rhythm.

Trumpeters Adolfo Acosta, first trumpet and current member of Tower of Power, and Barry Nitikman, second trumpet/arranger, are featured throughout this wonderful excursion through some classic covers.

“Afrodite” opens with the son “Bilongo,” one of Guillermo Rodriguez Fiffe’s best-known compositions. Karl leads the soloists into a blazing exchange between Barry and Adolfo followed by Raul ripping the timbales.

Band members heard the tune, “Cuarto De Tula” and fell in love with this popular son. It is their tribute to Elidades Ochoa’s version. Check out Karl on piano and Tommy’s inspiring bongo licks.

The pace slows down for the ever-romantic “Sabor A Mi” with Barry’s trumpet solo, and vocalists, Jose and Hugo, taking turns with the lead melody.

The title track, “Afrodite,” composed by Karl as a jazz-son, features special guest soloist and now regular first trumpet Jonathan Dane, with Robert adding the proper taste the song deserves.

“El Canoero” and “El Caballo Viejo” are traditional cumbias played regularly for Somos Son’s faithful fans at local gigs. “El Caballo Viejo” swings at the end with solos by Barry, Karl and Robert.

The Cha-Cha-Cha is well-represented by “Perfidia” with the arrangement inspiration coming from Linda Ronstadt’s Grammy-award winning recording “Frenesi.” Karl once again delights the listener with a superb solo. Barry’s invigorating trumpet solo adds a new twist to the song and is highlighted by Robert’s conga solo swinging above a son groove.

Somos Son delivers a juicy swing to the classic son, “Sabor a Caney,” with Adolfo’s trumpet and guest flautist Ruben Martinez.

On the classic, “Besame Mucho,” Barry’s arrangement and inspired trumpet "la diana" thoroughly blends modern Cuban salsa styles, giving the song a unique Somos Son flavor, and a proper closing to this smashing CD.

This recording is one that will bring full enjoyment every time you play it and introduce you to the extraordinary sounds being heard in Santa Barbara... home to Somos Son.

Nelson Rodriguez
Latin Beat Magazine
Fall 2006



to write a review

David Bernal

Makes you want to dance !!
very song on this CD is awesome. Waiting for your next CD.
David Bernal from Oklahoma City

Dodie (UK)

Brilliant CD
I have been waiting for a CD from Somos Son to come out... and, as I thought it would be, it is brilliant. It creates such a wonderful atmosphere. And it has inspired me to start back at my Salsa classes!


I heard these guys live in Santa Barbara a year or two ago and I finally decided it was time to get my hands on one of their records. Somos Son is so talented and their music is phenominal; it can put you in a real mood for dancing, unwinding and celebrating. I had the first track of this song stuck in my head for a week and a half after buying the CD. In fact, it's still stuck...


Beautifully done Latin classics
Every song is beautifully done, but check out the trumpet solos on Sabor a Mi and Perfidia. The title song (Afrodite) just won't stop playing in my head and the cool, moody, salsa-influenced arrangement of Besame Mucho makes the song new again. The original arrangements are definitely different. Not just another Latin dance band. Love the album.