New CD Features the Sounds of the Bronx
A Review of Bronx Music Volume One
Produced By: BRONXNET
By Jon Minners
Let the Links Guide You: The Story of the Bronx CD
Take a walk through the entire Bronx this summer. Look around you. See all the people; all the diverse people calling the Bronx their home. Smell the rich food coming from places like Arthur Avenue and City Island. Shhh!!! Listen around you. Do you hear the music? Can you hear the sounds of the Bronx?
As rich and diverse as the people, foods and cultures that make up the borough, the sounds come in all styles from Rock to Doowop and from Salsa to Reggae and Rap and that sound is finally captured on one brilliant CD. BRONXNET, a cable channel located in the heart of the borough, at Lehman College, has released Bronx Music Volume One, a collection of music from artists who have appeared on the cable channel’s award winning talk shot BronxTalk.
From start to finish, this CD has something for everyone and something for people who have never given other types of music a try. Like Latin Jazz? Funky Nassau from Hai Rezolution delivers, but while you are at it, try some Jazz of a different sort from Lou Volpe or take a listen to some of the rap tracks, like the appropriately titled Sound of the Bronx featuring DJ Cool Clyde, Lightnin’ Lance, the Bronx Bullies, the legendary Afrika Bambaata, Professor X and the soulful Candace Blake. "This is how it go down/uptown, uptown/this is how it go down…b-boys, breakdance/graffiti, spray cans/DJ mix it with both hands." The beats are nice, the sound is old school and the Bronx is well represented with unique raps giving shoutouts to all the neighborhoods that made Hip Hop kind. Clyde and Lance also provide a little history lesson about Hip Hop, reminiscing about the parties they played in the late 70’s and early 80’s and how Clyde was the first DJ to scratch on wax in 1981. This was a great way to kick things off.
The rap continues with Heistclick’s High Noon. This group representing Morris Park, fuses some rock with a hard Hip Hop edge and produces a very catchy sound. This is the first song I ever heard from the group, but they have proven themselves to me. I will be keeping an eye on Heistclick, as I will be doing with CO$T whose Price is Rite is a very fitting track for the bling bling era. CO$T is nice. He has a good sound. I like his flow; fast and smooth; a verbal assassin that provides a head nodding track worth listening to again and again. Of course, Bambaataa hits us again, along with the Time Zone, in Life and Death, a Reggae sound very different from what you hear on the radio today, but still very catchy, entertaining and enjoyable to listen to.
Outside of rap, you have See You in a Minute by the Caribbean Jazz Project (Dave Valentin). There is also Cayo Condon by Willie Colon, El Timbalero by Orlando Marin and His Orchestra, the much laid back and easy listening Quiet Wave by Rale Micic Quintet and Baby You’re Number One by Lou Volpe. These are tracks I would not normally seek out on my own, but I am glad I gave them a listen. They brought about a change of pace and really rounded out the sounds of the Bronx perfectly.
There was also Yesterday’s Memories by The Legendary Morrisania Revue, which just had that classic Doowop feel that took me back to a time when my father would play back in the day. The track really did bring back yesterday’s memories.
Sex in New York City is a very catchy and fun song by Afroditee. These girls have a serious set of pipes. The authentic Spanish flavor combined with a Hip Hop sound really separates this track from the rest and a mix of English and Spanish really worked well; a true representation of Bronx music.
Working to be Poor by Amura has a very good Blues sound to it. It is very depressing, but something that everyone can relate to and just vibe with. I always feel like I am working to be poor so it hit the right person. I am truly enjoying the Blues as of late; a true forefather of Rap.
Radio by Crashbox is just an awesome hard rocking sound. These guys truly provide the listener with an old school sound, but they are modern enough to make it work. Crashbox is accessible to all fans of rock music.
The CD ends with Streets of the Bronx by Butch Barbella’s Streets of the Bronx Band, a track that I would have never thought of listening to, but perfect to end the CD with. Bronx Music Volume One is just a great way to educate yourself about the sounds of the Bronx and the people who helped build up this borough. The CD provides listeners with something different and gives us a chance to enjoy established stars while allowing us to take part in something special and see the next wave of Bronx stars showcase their talent. I can’t wait to hear Volume Two.