Since salsa and jazz met they have had a long love affair that has created a unique sound much adored by dancers around the world. While salsa favours energetic rhythms, jazz gravitates towards experimentation and expression—every instrument in the ensemble is given an opportunity to be heard and appreciated. A melding of the two often provides an uptempo sound generated by the pianos, trombones, trumpets, and saxophones as well as smooth cadences from the percussion sections. A good composition will have clear verses and chorus sections that provides dancers with aural cues for particular movements regardless of the absence of words.
That salsa and jazz are a suitable musical match is not in doubt. What remains unsettled is the name of the aural offspring of the two: salsa jazz or jazzy salsa?
Who cares? A dance by either name is just as sweet.
Ed Byrne’s Latin Jazz Evolution, Sonora Ponceña, Johnny Blas, Ray Perez Y Su Ritmo, La Maxima 79, and Tito Puente provide smooth tunes that are a staple on The Salsa Club’s dance floor; their jazz undertones provide the perfect tempo for practicing steps and patterns of all simplicities and complexities.
One For Carlos—Ed Byrne’s Latin Jazz Evolution
Satin N Lace—Sonora Ponceña
Don’t Change My Song—Johnny Blas
Moliendo Café—Ray Perez Y Su Ritmo
Singapore Vibes—La Maxima 79
Hong Kong Mambo—Tito Puente