The Baboons' ambitious new bilingual recording Spanglish features all-original songs that pay homage to Miami's diversity and draw inspiration from the mix of global cultural influences found on the streets and beaches of their hometown. Throughout the years, the band's music has evolved into a rich global fusion that combines Latin American, Caribbean, African, Middle Eastern and American roots influences.
"Spanglish is a love letter to Miami where diverse people from all over the world live, love and influence each other every day," said Majica, who along with Pila served as a principal songwriter on the album. “These songs are stories about real Miami characters. They come from different worlds, they struggle, but in the end they all call Miami home."
The title song ‘Spanglish’ is the story of a young woman that comes here to ‘get away from the cold’ and winds up falling in love and becoming ‘fluent in amor.‘ The fan favorite ‘Soon Come Samba’ is about a samba-loving little sister dreaming of future carnavals and the older sister that warns her not to grow up too fast. ‘Cebolla’ tells the story of an aging mambo master who works construction by day but is a hero to the kids in his working-class neighborhood when he blows his horn at night. ‘Dashiki Blue’ is about a homesick college student overwhelmed by a parcel from home. ‘Pequena Habanera’ is a coming-of-age tale about a domino-hustling Little Havana princess and the love-struck son of the baker who courts her with guava pastries. The band’s audacious mix of seemingly disparate musical elements provides the perfect framework for these South Florida stories.
There are plenty of weird and wonderful mash-ups on Spanglish, from the exotic bombast of 'Balkan Thang' to the Fela-meets-Hendrix onslaught of 'Yuca,' the instrumentals that bookend the CD. In between there's the merengue-punk of 'El Tiki Tiki,' the gospelly country waltz 'Crazy Confirmation,' and the catchy 50's rocker 'This Is Me,' which celebrates and reinforces the message: 'This is me, I am what I am!'"
The seven-piece outfit on "Spanglish" features sultry singer Majica on lead vocals and founder Mano Pila on drums and vocals (the two also host the Global Gumbo with Majica & Mano P. radio show Sundays on 88.9 FM WDNA, 4-6 p.m.), Miguel Rega on percussion, Ike Blues on guitar and vocals, Michael Mut on bass, and Dominick Cama and Paul Messina on saxophones and flutes. “Spanglish” CD cover art by Eva Ruiz.
Spanglish was recorded at Miami's Red Door Studios and the finishing touches at were added at several studios in South Florida. Special guests include Senegalese griot Morikeba Kouyate on kora, Jose Domenech on piano, AJ Hill on baritone sax, Rich Dixon on trumpet, Jose Elias and Buffalo Brown on guitars, Kenneth Metzker on steel drums, Phil McArthur on Bass and JJ Freire on djembe.