Listening to “Tembanddumba”, a song in which Totó la Momposina lets her voice stoop thrillingly and then snatches it up again like a dropped hankie, reminds that Mercedes Sosa died not long ago. Sosa was an Argentine, and Momposina is Colombian, but both have championed the folk music of their respective countries and have possessed strong voices. Their voices are not brutal but provide the steady power that could pierce a wall. If you wanted a boil-it-down nickname for the Afro-Indian music Momposina likes to sing, you could call it drum ‘n’ flute. The flute ( kuisi) is husky. The drumming is vivid stuff: rapid, rumbling, and stormy. She loves cumbia and mixes things around a little, keeping the flavor local. The violins are perhaps a step too far in the direction of cosmopolitan smoothness, contrasting uneasily with the indigenous instruments. Though it lacks the the rougher style 2002’s Pacantó, La Bodega proves la Momposina is one of those rare musicians who would have to work at being anything less than good.
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