Las Caleñas Son Como La Flores (1990) – The Latin Brothers

I wouldn’t class myself a connoisseur of Salsa music, even less an aficionado of Salsa dancing, but I prefer the more traditional and distinguished Salsa over the modern material. Las Caleñas Son Como La Flores (The Caleñas are like Flowers) is one such example of Salsa music I like listening to called ‘Tropical Music‘, although there are many different styles of Salsa some of which have been presented in this blog.

Las Caleñas Son Como La Flores heralds from the home of Salsa music in Colombia, Cali seen in the map above. This song was written to attract audiences to salsa’s capital city and its beautiful dancing women, Las Caleñas. What this title expresses is that Women from Cali are similar to the flowers because they always dress very colourful like the woman below of a thousand colours:

“The woman of a thousand colors”: the Ensálsate show that opens at the Cali Fair

(A loose english translation is below)

Cali!
Land of pretty and beautiful women

The Caleñas are like flowers
What dresses are in a thousand colors
They never give their love
If their love is not reciprocated


Walking they go along the sidewalks
Waddling they carry their waist
they move their hips
like the sugar cane in the wind

The following are excerpts from the informative article referenced below:
The origins of salsa music are often attributed to New York City’s relationship with the Puerto Rican territory and the nation of Cuba, however its popularity throughout the mid-twentieth century generated from Colombian radio broadcasts and recordings of cumbia folk music.

The Colombian record label Discos Fuentes, one of the oldest labels in Latin America, if not the world, was established in the 1930s by Antonio Fuentes Estrada and produced many timeless recordings that are still sought after by vinyl collectors. In response to the global boom of salsa music, Fuentes created The Latin Brothers in 1974.

Las Caleñas Son Como Las Flores is credited to Arturo Jorge Ospina, however the production credits of this recording are not as obvious. The 2-trombone horn section is somewhat unique while still traditional to the marching brass parades heard throughout South America, as well as a reminder that the power of salsa comes from its complementary rhythms that solidify the groove, rather than the flashy, extended, solo melodies of latin jazz.

References:
1. “Las Caleñas Son Como Las Flores” – The Latin Brothers – Trombone Alex

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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