Yo soy, del Son a la Salsa

on September 05, 1997 by Jose Martinez
   Cuban director Rigoberto Lopez's documentary, whose title roughly translates to "From Son to Salsa," explores the history of Caribbean/Afro-Cuban music from its conception during the 19th century to the days it was labeled mambo, then cha cha cha, and now "salsa." Packed with rhythm, spirit and knowledge, this film admires, respects and honors its legends who tell the tale. Narrated mostly by singer Issac Delgado, the film shines when Latin all-stars Tito Puente, Miguelito Valdes (Babalu), Ruben Blades, Willie Colon and Celia Cruz (interviewed by Puente) perform. Watching, one can feel the intense passion of these performers.
   For anyone ever interested in salsa, this film will answer any and all questions. But that comes at a price. "Yo Soy, del Son a la Salsa" provides too much history and not enough music. Moviegoers get the feeling they're in a classroom doing book learning, when what they're yearning for are those moments when they can get up and dance.    Directed and produced by Rigoberto Lopez. An RMM Filmworks release. Documentary. Spanish-language; English subtitles (unsubtitled version available). Unrated. Running time: 100 min.
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