Culture & Criticism Since 2003
The music the Afro-Caribbean group Tiempo Libre makes is all about clear crystal rhythms rising through the fog to tug you from your chair, these cool and supple melodies leaving toes to tap and hips to swing as people get up to dance in circles around the room. And this has never been more evident than on the band’s new record, Panamericano, slated to hit the bins on June 30. A three-time Grammy nominee, Tiempo Libre is truly a unique marriage: Seven classically trained musicians have partnered to make music with a tropical taste – rippling Latin rhythms intersect with layered harmonies and a bebop bounce, this grand exhibition calling the audience to stretch out. Ultimately, this is the sound of movement – songs drenched in the sensual energy of muscle, drowning in the buried sinew of the invisible. Notable cuts here include “Somebody to Love Me,” a piece that yearns for a car stereo and the long open road. And the sultry sexy “Dime Que No,” sporting a horn section that splits you at the backbone. Stitched together, these songs spotlight dance music at its finest hour. In the end, Panamericano stirs the original flavors of Tiempo Libre into a brand new stew. In turn, throngs of new fans are likely to be lining up for a sample.