LPT, the fast rising 10-piece orchestra out of Jacksonville, FL, are quickly becoming the ambassadors of Salsa and Afro-Cuban music in the Southeast. Their high energy and thought provoking take on Salsa Dura (Hard Salsa) is captured on their debut album Sin Parar, which is out now.
LPT came together with the mission of keeping legit ‘Descarga’ salsa alive. Formed in 2015, the crew realized that playing salsa music was a way to share the diversity of the area with a new, young audience, while still giving the seasoned salsa veterans a taste of that old school.
Their debut album Sin Parar strikes a fine balance between respecting the old school salsa legends with infectious danceability combined with LPT’s riveting lyrics rooted in deep messages that evoke contemplation. Lead singer Josué A. Cruz elaborates, “We wanted to harken back to the giants of the genre that made you shake your rear end and still say something to make you think.” Pianist Ángel D. García adds, “Sin Parar is a collection of songs born from the desire to righteously contribute to the salsa music canon. It is an attempt at pay respects to the melting pot that salsa music is – African, Cuban, Puerto Rican and American music, codified in New York City. We want to contribute and share our music with everyone.”
Sin Parar was recorded at NFS Records Ranch, 15 minutes west of Saint Augustine, in Elkton, FL. The magic that was recorded there in the Summer of 2019 can be heard through the rich analog sounds, which were captured straight to 2-inch tape. The results yield a very authentic and warm sounding album. In between takes, the musicians would take a dip in the pool on the ranch to keep cool and refreshed for their sessions with an energy that flows throughout the 9 original songs.
The album kicks off with the track “Guerra Guerra” that translates to “War War.” Combining dance energy with the topic of how society wants war and it seems to never end. “War, war, and the peace doesn’t come” is the chorus chant and that’s what we see in our world today. The theme about the woes of more violence, greed, anger, and separation, and less peace and love and inclusion. Another one of the many standout tracks is “Los Bravos” that translates to “The Brave Ones” or “The Bad Ones.” The song is an anthem to salsa dura and bringing the fire to the stage. LPT is all about the energy in the room, the experience of the live show and communing with the audience. This song embodies that feeling. It is bravado encapsulated. There are moments on-stage, when everything is locked in, that the band can feel larger than life.
The title track “Sin Parar” which was released in November received critical acclaim from Medium, Sounds and Colours, and Joy of Violent Movement. Medium called the track “Marvelously wrought and arranged, ‘Sin Parar’ projects electrifying dynamism, contagious rhythmic allure, and intoxicating Salsa Dura gusto.” The song translates to “non-stop” and represents the grind of living in today’s world, and how the “machine” doesn’t stop grinding. The topics continue to traverse life with “Mala Mentira,” which translates to “a bad lie.” This song is about the complications of love, and how we can convince ourselves to recognize feelings that aren’t true, to justify a certain end. At face value, the song can be aimed at a lover. Under a deeper microscope view, the song is being sung to music itself, as in, “I can tell myself that I can live without you (music), but I can’t. I need you more than ever.” It is a bolero style, so it is meant to be slower and pensive and reflective.
As the listener continues down the journey of Sin Parar they will dive into diverse topics of life, death, love, and social topics all wrapped up into an infectious rhythm that lets you move, while critically thinking of issues going on around them. In the spirit of similar genre pushing groups like Grupo Fantasma and Bio Ritmo, LPT aims to bring thought-provoking lyrics and topics to a genre of music not normally associated with it.
Josué A. Cruz concludes, “We want to bring our music to everyone to demonstrate the power music has, how it can make everyone in a room start moving, even if they may not know what the song is about, lyrically. The language of music transcends spoken language and cultures and borders. It stands alone and speaks to all sentient beings that are willing to listen. It is the original language, and LPT wants to share that sentiment with the world.”
Milan Algood – Timbales, Vox
Josué A. Cruz – Lead Vox
Angel Garcia – Keys, Vox
Mike Emmert – Baritone Sax
Bryant Patterson – Trombone
Jonah Pierre – Bongo & Bell
Stan Piper – Bass
Juan Carlos Rollan – Tenor Sax, Vox
JP Salvat – Congas
Steve Strawley – Trumpet
2/21 @ Coastal Carnaval - Atlantic Beach, FL
2/23 @ Seawalk Pavilion - Jacksonville Beach, FL
3/01 @ Intuition Ale Works - Jacksonville, FL
3/07 @ Carnival On The Mile - Miami, FL
3/24 @ Copacabana Times Square - New York City
3/25 @ Pianos NYC - New York City
3/26 @ Next Stage Arts Project - Putney, VT
3/27 @ Rockwood Music Hall - New York City
4/03 @ Smith's Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA
4/04 @ Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens - Jacksonville, FL