Totally agree with the premise that Mel Martínez establishes in this song of his authorship. Yes, Puerto Rico is the same as saying: “Yo soy salsero”.
Long live the music! Know that this implies shouting:
“Long live the musicians, so they can keep making it”.
The song starts off timidly and it seems that the arrangement asks the listener for his opinion on what he thinks of what is the first single of what will be his next musical production in a segment that presents a transcript of that “what do you think of Cholito”.
From there it pivots into a melodic design that reminds me of a segment of “I like Christmas that tastes like Puerto Rico” The shyness of the theme lasts approximately ten seconds.
Then the arrangement takes a turn that suggests that in Puerto Rico it’s Christmas all year round.
The lyrics of the song assures that all salsa-loving countries have their flavor and their flag; defined by other rhythms, highlighting the native rhythms of Colombia, Dominican Republic, Argentina and Peru. But Mel comes from Puerto Rico and asserts on behalf of all Puerto Rican salseros that: “In Puerto Rico the sun is boiling and that’s where Caliente salsa comes from”.
Evidently salsa is our pride. We are all Mel in terms of his love for salsa, the shout of pride, the flavor and the flag”.
And speaking of flavor and flag, it is clear that still “Aníbal Vázquez as a dancer, Giovanni Hidalgo hitting a leather, Tite Curet’s songs and Sammy Marrero’s feeling” are as valid as their first day in salsa performances.
New York’s emblematic nightclubs, all of them already disappeared, stand out in the lyric.
The mention of El Corso, Latin Quarter and the unforgettable Copacabana filled me with nostalgia and joy for having been lucky enough to have been part of that history. In Puerto Rico we have also been part of the history of salsa as it was spun in Lomas del Sol, El Coabey -which has been sustained against all odds- and El Tropicana.
The groups of Luis “Perico” Ortiz, El Gran Combo, Willie Rosario, Bobby Valentín, Tommy Olivencia, La Ponceña, Roena, Mulenze and Chaney star in the list of orchestras born in our soil and that Mel includes in the lyrics of the theme. Costa Brava, Puerto Rican Power, Canayón, Mario Ortiz, Don Perignon and La Solución complete the list of outstanding orchestras in sound and category.
The patron saint festivities and the dancers arrive at the theme at the climax of the mambo, through the pregones in the voice of our favorite for several decades.
From Fajardo to Mayaguez, passing through Bayamón and Carolina, Cataño and Dorado Mel assures that our 100 x 35 and its inhabitants are salseros by birth.
The lyrics of Mel’s song are so great that it secured mention of the dancers who every year try out for National Salsa Day, which until 2020 was exclusive to Puerto Rico.
If you haven’t heard this song, I dare you to listen to it without getting stuck to it:
I don’t know where you’re from
But I love my land
I come from Puerto Rico
and Puerto Rico is salsa.
I can tell you that the choruses are deluxe. The coros feature Luisito Carrión, Lalo Rodríguez and Carlos García; the same Carlos García who composes, arranges, sings and dances, all while masterfully dominating behind his piano.
As Mel states in this beautiful composition, which is also patriotically historical: we were born salseros.
I add by way of an intimately personal opinion that no human being is prepared to face the battle of life without the encouragement that music gives us.
I conclude by recommending you not to miss the correspondence between Pedro Perez’s bass and Emanuel Navarro’s timbal at the end of the song.
For those who doubt that musicians give us music even when it seems that the musical theme has already closed.
What is left for me to say? Long live the music! Know that this implies shouting: “Long live the musicians, so that they keep on making it”. Ah! And that we are still salseros.
Facebook: Mel Martinez
By: Bella Martinez “The Irreverent Salsa Writer”
Website: Bella Martinez Escribe