Review: Don Perignon y La Orquesta Puertorriqueña “Afinque Total”

When the term “afinque” is mentioned in Salsa music many things come to mind like El Maestro Willie Rosari aka “Mr. Afinque” himself, or others like La Sonora Poncena and the legendary Gran Combo. For many years, these artists have set the standard for salsa orchestras who cater to the dancer as well as the listener.

But one orchestra in particular that is quickly approaching the higher echelon of afinque is Don Perignon y La Orquesta Puertorriqueña. Led by timbalero Don Perignon, the band has put together an impressive resume of recordings that are a must have for any salsa music aficionado.

Their latest release, A Otro Nivel: Homenaje al Bailador, 30 Aniversario is a real gem.  The minute you read the liner notes and see the line-up of singers and musicians, you will know that this is a no-nonsense, no filler recording.  From the first cut to the last, the music takes you to another level just like the title suggests.

One track that particularly hits hard is “Afinque Total”, which features lead vocals by the talented Rico Walker.  The superb song arrangement combined with the swing of the tight rhythm section led by Perignon is a dancers delight, and from the first few bars on you will be savoring the banquet of sabor that is about to come your way.

From a DJ’s perspective, this record is what we like to call a “party starter”, and it just might end up being your “go to” cut for some time. In addition to the aforementioned “Afinque Total”, the track “Cascara con Afinque” is another hot number that will make you wish that you had a dollar for every time someone requested it.

While some are just getting around to grooving on this release, I for one have had this CD on my Best of 2011 listings for some time now.  I’m confident that once you add this album to your rotation you will soon find yourself searching for earlier releases by Don Perignon and his orchestra.  And when you do you wont be disappointed… trust me!

Don Perignon y La Orquesta Puertorriqueña…. music to make your ears smile!

Purchase the album here.

Reveiwed by: Ray Cruz for NewGenSalsa.