Interview PDF Interview from Salsa Sabrosa with EL ZORRO (german)


No.1!12. Dec. 03- 11. Feb. 04 the tune "La Bomba Soy Yo" was number 1on the timba hitparade at timba.com


The song "La Vida Entera" from the first recording was on position 12 in the top 20in Cuba.


Tomas Algarin

"Latin Aura" Executive Producer Jazz 91.9FM WCLK- Atlanta:

El Zorro's CD is absolutely killer!Great swing, sophisticated style, up tempo arrangements, and hip-to-the-tip! It's a great CD.


Descarga.com:

It's a weird situation when the best Cuban dance record to show up in a while is a collaboration between Cuban musicians and a Swiss composer and pianist. But there you are: it's a modern world, and La Vida Entera is a hard-core dance record in the timbaesque style of Pupi and Los Van Van. Violins and trombones pump away, coros fly, and as far as modern dance music goes, this is as sophisticated as it gets. Smart, street and completely useful. It'll remind you of Havana, late 1990s.

Highly Recommended.

Review by Peter Watrous


El sol de la florida.com:

Por Rafael Mieses

En el área de la radio comercial, la salsa sufre una decaída. El dancehall boricua que llaman reggaetón hizo su entrada. Aparte que se aprecia muy poco interés de los grandes sellos por irse con otros rostros salseros. Cuba, por ejemplo, tiene una buena factoría para darnos caras nuevas y buenas. Pero Cuba es una mala palabra para esta administración republicana y todo intercambio cultural que se abrió durante los años de Clinton es historia patria. Siguen apretando sin el mismo sentido de más de 40 años. De la Cuba musical actual no sabemos mucho. Mientras, la monotonía sigue obesa en la radio comercial. Allí se ataja a muchos para sonar a unos pocos. El Zorro es un músico suizo llamado Martin Lehner, quien se hace cargo de los arreglos, con el director musical cubano Gustavo Anaya. El repertorio de diez cortes aborda la llamada timba cubana con el aire salsero internacional ya conocido. No es una de las bandas estelares de la Cuba actual. No, que va. Pero no hay dudas, que aparecen momentos interesantes y frescos. Otros no muy convocadores, pero con detallitos que llaman la atención. La misma temática amorosa de siempre y el sabor habanero, por lo menos.


Jazz 'n more

Phil Stöckli:

"La Vida Entera" ist eine Koproduktion der beiden Posaunisten Martin Lehner (CH) und Gustavo Duran (KUBA) und einer zusammengewürfelten kubanischen Gruppe namens "El Zorro". Lehner hat erstklassige Kompositionen und Arrangements geliefert, die sich diese Konstellation mit Frische und ungebrochener Spielfreude zu Eigen gemacht hat. Der Mix aus Salsa und Timba ist perfekt zum Tanzen geeignet, was Lehner auch anstrebt hatte. Trotzdem hat die Musik Klasse und beweist damit, dass Komerzialität nicht unbedingt eine Qualitätseinbusse bedeutet. Über die Zukunft dieses Projektes werden in erster Linie die kubanischen Behörden entscheiden. Hoffen wir, dass Martin "El Zorro" Lehner diese Band einmal in die Schweiz bringen kann.


Salsa Charts:

Five years ago, with their Grammy winning, slick timba style album LLEGÒ VAN VAN... VAN VAN IS HERE, Los Van Van launched one of the greatest hits of the past decade. Since then, we have waited in vain for a similar production, be it Los Van Van or another of the many timba bands now out there. Surprisingly, the Swiss-Cuban joint venture LA VIDA ENTERA - THE WHOLE LIFE comes close enough, and like in Descarga.Com's editor's pick, I could easily picture songs like the opener El Borracho in line with Eso Dàmelo A Mì or El Negro Està Cocinando or the very Temba Timba Tumba. WelI, maybe not exactly, but almost. I could also phantasize about El Zorro being actually me, but that's of course not the case. El Zorro's real name is Martin Richard Lehner, and he is the Swiss side of this production. Actually, he is much more, having composed and arranged all the songs and playing keyboard and drums on several recordings. The rest of the orchestra is Cuban, with El Zorro's counterpart Gustavo Duràn Anaya as musical director. The album was recorded in Habana in 2002 and mixed and mastered in Switzerland in 2003.

The ten main songs on LA VIDA ENTERA, which you can listen to at El Zorro's website (which also shares the lyrics and lots of information about El Zorro, the band and the story behind the project), are labelled son, salsa, guaguanco, pop, timba and salsa romantica, which indicates a certain rhythmic variation. But while having these elements, all the songs follow a more or less similar slick salsa-timba arrangement in the tradition of Los Van Van's aforementioned hit album. As in the latter, the timba component is clearly recognizable, but not the aggressive and disharmonic timba typical of many Cuban timba bands. This makes the tunes easy listening and well suited for the salsa dancefloor. The downside is that the album is a bit too uniform for my taste, but one could also say that for LLEGÒ VAN VAN... VAN VAN IS HERE. Also, songs like El Cha Cha Cha are somewhat too poppy for my gusto. Still, there is quite a number of tunes that will certainly hit on the pista, especially El Borracho, El Tiburòn and Te Quiero Mucho, but also Perdoname, La Princesa and Recuerdos. I also like the HipHop Remix La Princesa, a welcome rhythmic break closing the album.

All in all, when it comes to timba, Los Van Van and the Venezuelan band Guaco are still by far the forer unners of this genre, and most of the modern timba is more a hardcore kind of music that you need special ears for to be able to fully enjoy it. With some few exceptions, there's not much Van Van style timba out there, so LA VIDA ENTERA is a highly welcome album that indeed "... is the result of a magnificent collaboration between Cuba and Switzerland ..." (Bembe Records).

Review by Rob Lücking alias DJ Zorro


Salsa.it:

El Zorro, "La Vida Entera" - Cinquantatre' minuti di Timba stile "DanDen" cioe' arrangiata con solo tromboni e quindi caratterizzata da una certa "dolcezza" nella proposizione musicale. Il brano top del cd e' sicuramente "La bomba soy yo" un Timba/HipHop che - a mio parere - é candidata a diventare il "tormentone" dell' inverno 2004 per la carica e la orecchiabilita' immediata che la permea. I rimanenti dieci brani sono - invece - in stile Timba "tranquila" di buona qualita' eccetto il brano d' apertura "El borracho" che e' decisamente Son moderno . Martin Richard Lehner (El Zorro) e' il compositore, arrangiatore e pianista del cd; mente Gustavo Duran Anaya (trombonista) ne e' il produttore. L' album esce per una piccola ma raffinata Casa California la "Bembé Records" sin qui proiettata per lo piu' al Jazz. Consigliato per chi non ama i ritmi "carichi". Il preascolto e' disponibile su www.elzorro.ch (1.10 per brano).


Bembé Records:

LA VIDA ENTERA is the result of a magnificent collaboration between Cuba and Switzerland. Swiss composer Martin Richard Lehner (El Zorro) and Cuban trombonist/ music director Gustavo Ananya serve up jazzy, cutting- edge salsa and timba with some hip-hop mixed in.

Recorded in Havanna, Cuba, LA VIDA ENTERA shows that salsa dance music can definitely be intelligent as well as sexy. This stellar gathering of Cuban musicians features some of the most exciting and talented vocalists and instrumentalists performing today.


Timba.com:

Our friends at Bembe Records have another great release of modern Cuban music. El Zorro, "La Vida Entera", is a showcase of Son, Salsa and Timba by a Cuban band led by Swiss keyboardist Martin Richard Lehner who wrote and arranged all the songs on this CD. Timba.com will have this in stock Friday, December 12. You can order now

Newcomer El Zorro has a fine new CD of modern Cuban styles. Listen to the very hot "La Bomba Soy Yo" (not the Van Van tune!).


City Hall Records:

This album contains the hard driving dance music of Cuba today: timba and salsa. It is a collaboration between the Swiss composer, arranger and trombonist Martin Lehner ("El Zorro") and Cuban Musical director and trombonist Gustavo Duran. A remarkable group of fourteen Cuban musicians gathered at the Radio Progreso in Havana in November, 2002 to create this work, and El Zorro catches the excitement of Cuban music in his songs and the musicians bring it to life with all their considerable talents and instincts. The result is

the freshest sound around, the best of modern Cuban dance music.


DJ Chicho:

Quando la Bembe pubblica un disco è sempre di qualità (peccato ne facciano pochi all'anno !).E questo disco "nasce" vicino all'Italia..... in Svizzera ! Infatti Martin Richard Lehner (El Zorro) è un musicista,arrangiatore e compositore svizzero che ha studiato anche all'Avana e che ha suonato in numerose orchestre . Gustavo Carlos Duran Anaya è un musicista e direttore di orchestra cubano che ha lavorato con "Sur Caribe" e "Elio Revè y su Charangon" ed altre, anche se il suo inizio musicale è avvenuto nella grande "Orchestra Sinfonica di Oriente", insieme hanno confezionato questo grande disco per tutti gli amanti della salsa e timba cubana ! La prima traccia è un son "El Borracho" e poi a salire una salsa "La vida entera" una salsa hip-hop "La bomba soy yo" (traccia che state ballando nelle mie serate) e poi ancora cha cha cha,un salsita romantica "Del Amor" e "La Princesa" una salsa-timba anche questa con un ritmo che vi farà ballare (esiste sul cd anche una versione remix Hip Hop)ed ancora una salsa romantica "Te quiero Mucho" ed altre salse . La registrazione è stata fatta a L'Avana negli studi Radio Progreso ed il mixaggio e la masterizzazione digitale in svizzera e la qualità è ottima.Chissà che questo progetto che parte dall'europa ( anche i musicisti sono misti svizzeri e cubani) inciso per una etichetta americana, registrato a Cuba e già programmatissimo dalle radio latine di tutto il mondo non abbia il meritato successo ! Se volete acquistarlo da Mauro su www.cdlatino.it oppure direttamente www.elzorro.ch


DJ Changuito:

Recensione: Album prodotto dalla casa discografica svizzera Bembé, che ci propone uno stile di salsa cubana moderna, attraverso una combinazione musicale, originale, che mette insieme musicisti cubani e il compositore e pianista svizzero Martin Lehner. Il direttore musicale è invece Gustavo Duran Anaya, che possiamo ascoltare esibirsi magistralmente al trombone. Il genere che ci propongono è un timba soave, non troppo aggressivo, alla Pupy e Los van van, ma con meno grinta, piu per gli amanti di uno stile piu soft, da ascoltare. L'album consta di 11 brani, tra cui pero due versioni, una remix, di " La Princesa". Non mancano anche le mescolanze con il moderno hip hop, come nella tradizione della attuale musica cubana. Ci sono pero diversi brani abbastanza orecchiabili e ballabili, in particolare " La bomba soy yo", che di sicuro piacerà alla pista. E' sicuramente una proposta musicale da ascoltare, per gli amanti del genere cubano e apprezzabile anche da parte di chi, come me, non lo è!


Latin cool now:

Recorded in Havana, Cuba, La Vida Entera shows that salsa can be intelligent and sexy. La Vida Entera is the result of a magnificent collaboration between Cuba and Switzerland. Swiss composer Martin Richard Lehner (El Zorro) and Cuban trombonist/music director Gustavo Duran Anaya serve up jazzy, cutting-edge salsa and timba with some hip-hop mixed in.

This Stellar gathering of Cuban musicians features some of the most exciting and talented vocalists and instrumentalists performing today.


DJ US Thaler:

Ja, Staunen bei descarga.com! Ich zitiere mehr oder weniger sinngemäss: Es ist eine absurde Situation wenn die zurzeit beste kubanische Tanzmusik eine Zusammenarbeit zwischen Kubanischen Musikern und einem Schweizer Komponisten ist. Aber so ist es halt in der heutigen Welt. "La vida entera" ist eine hardcore Tanzplatte im timbaesken Stil von Pupi oder Van Van. Violinen und Posaunen pumpen, die Chöre fliegen und soweit es moderne Tanzmusik betrifft, ist diese so raffiniert wie's nur geht. Smart, strassentauglich und total brauchbar. Erinnert an Havanna der späten 90er Jahre.

Besonders empfehlenswert

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