NEW ORLEANS FUNK
WITH THE ELEGANCE OF JAZZ
Almas Band was born in New Orleans in 1999. They have proudly shared the stage in prestigious locations such as the House of Blues with many giants of the music world including Juanes, Carlos Vives, Enrique Bunbury and even the legendary Rubén Blades. In addition, they have collaborated with the Grammy winning composer and arranger, Cucco Peña.
To serve society as citizens of the world by creating music that promotes diversity and that appeals to multiple generations. Funk Defender puts the New Orleans influence on Almas Band's sound front and center to create a sexy, funky, invigorating listen. Filtering the spirit of the Caribbean through the sounds of New Orleans in a way they've never done over the course of a full album. The band traveled to the Crescent City to record Funk Defender live at the Ellis Marsalis Center of Music. This latest intervention closes the loop for Almas, one that begun 17 years ago in New Orleans and with this return demonstrates the diversity of talent embodied by these now seasoned musicians.
Almas Band classic first album titled Semilla won over the heart of many, establishing a solid fan base and considered a classic among fans to this day. With this album they have shared the stage in Puerto Rico with the multi-talented Cultura Profética, La Secta, Tego Calderón and Black Guayaba, among others.
Semilla is the band’s mission statement, featuring 13 timeless tracks reflecting the band’s gumbo of musical influences.
Featuring catchy salsa hooks on “Sola,” moving ballads like “Michelle” and “Suddenly,” shimmering Latin dream pop on “Presente,” “Mamae,” and “Semilla,” and reggae-tinged jams like “Buen Camino” and “In I Stand,” the album plays like a roadmap to the sonic journeys the band would follow on its musical journey.
Perhaps the key track on Semilla is the New Orleans-flavored “La Marea”, with its laid-back, beachy rhythms, culminates into a joyful ‘Nawlins second-line horn jazz jam. “La Marea” is the beginning of the through-line from Semilla into Entre Luz y Sombra’s “Mar y Tierra” and “Daydreamer.” The meeting of those New Orleans jazz sounds and the chunky funk of Audiotour’s “Funk Defenders,” “D/T to Frenchmen St.,” and “1000,” are the roads that lead directly to the band’s 2017 Latin jazz-funk masterpiece FUNK DEFENDER.
Almas Band's second album is titled Audiotour, and includes five tracks that were featured and made part of the soundtrack of the film “Elite”, recognized respectively in the Chicago and San Diego Latin Film Festivals in that same year.
Furthermore, Almas Band collaborated with the producers of the album, “Salsa, a Tribute to El Gran Combo”, which sold more than 100,000 copies and was certified a “Gold Record”.
With this album, Jose and Jorge Colón, once again brought their own blend of reggae-funk sounds, this time with added dub production values.
The organic recording of these eleven tracks effectively captures the energy of their live performances. The result is a coherent mood that works best when listened to as an album, yet the songs also stand up on their own.
Lead singles "C-alma" and "Funk Defender" are immediately infectuous, while "Downtown to Frenchmen St." takes it back to New Orleans where the band developed their groove. "Fane Song" and "1000" are pure rhythms with a new urban edge, while "Todos Para Uno" and "De Mel" showcase the harmonies that made their first album "Semilla" so addictive.
The songs are all embedded in a richly produced tapestry of sounds. Jose and Jorge's irresistible chemistry and increasingly reflective lyrics show a band evolving sonically and personally. Good times and good vibes are what you can expect from Almas Band.
The third album by Almas Band sees them exploring the way we journey through life, through better or worse. It is their most introspective work yet, without losing their ear for a perfect harmony and a solid tune.
The album is split into two halves, LUZ and SOMBRA, yet both cleverly navigate between light and shadow.
LUZ opener "Sigue Sonriendo" is a classic Almas Band groove, but listen closer and you’ll get a hint of what's to come - a story about smiling even when you feel you can't. "Deja Que Te Cuente" and "Daydreamer" stay true to Almas Band’s groove oriented music, while "Mar y Tierra" brings the joy of their live gigs. The real showstopper here is "Estela", a glowing and delicate melody about growing up as brothers. Along with "Sueño De Ser Un Instante" and "Versátil", LUZ really showcases the songwriting of band leaders, Jose and Jorge Colón.
The jarring industrial intro of "Inocente" clearly marks SOMBRA off as a new space for Almas Band. While this half of the album is markedly darker, it never loses its Rock sensibility. "Mataste el Paraíso" is the rawest track they’ve done yet, and excitingly pushes the boundaries of the Almas sound. The honesty of "Entrelíneas", "Control Sobre Mí" and "Propio Camino" likewise leaves nothing hidden, exploring the difficulty of heartbreak and revealing the power of letting go and being true to your emotions. The underlying message is finding positivity despite how unattainable it feels at times. There is real growth on show here: the uplifting "Reloj" and the gorgeous album closer "Supera Aquello" make harmony into a way of life and a force for healing. "Entre Luz Y Sombra" is a journey to finding balance through the power of music.