Lisandro Meza, the Colombian "King of Cumbia"

'Cumbia along with Vallenato, is currently a popular folk music of Colombia. It primarily comes from the Colombia's Caribbean region. Vallenato literally means "born in the valley". The valley influencing this name is located between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía de Perijá in northeast Colombia. The name also applies to the people from the city where this genre originated: Valledupar (from the place named Valle de Upar "Valley of Upar"). In 2006, Vallenato and cumbia were added as a category in the Latin Grammy Awards. Lizandro Meza is fron Sincelejo near Cartejena in Colombia and is the king of Cumbia.'

'Lisandro Meza played an important role in the evolution of cumbia, the traditional big band dance music of Colombia. A master of vallenato sabanero, an accordion-driven style of music, Meza forged a sound that has been described as "a cross between rural Dominican merengue, Louisiana zydeco, and Tex-Mex norteño." Meza initially attracted attention as a founding member of Los Corraleros de Majagual. One of Colombia's most popular bands in the 1960s, the group served as the breeding ground for such influential artists as Fruko, the "Godfather of Salsa." Leaving Los Corraleros De Majagual to focus on a solo career, Meza has continued to influence the music of Colombia and Latin America. His hits include the drinking songs, "El Guayabo de la Ye (The Hangover of the Year)" and "La Botella Picomoche" (The Big-Mouthed Bottle).' -Artist Biography by Craig Harris

'Button accordionist Lisandro Meza has been one of the biggest names in Colombian cumbia for more than five decades. His stripped-down, countrified music often employs ensembles smaller than typical in cumbia, where groups of five or more are the norm—usually he's joined by a guiro player and a drummer and perhaps a bassist—and though this style is sometimes called vallenato, he insists the name is a misnomer and that such a subgenre doesn't exist. Meza's songs are compact and propulsive, and he gives them a crackling energy with fluid, high-octane accordion patterns; his clear voice carries excitement and even joy with laconic, economical ease. On an early-70s track that surfaced on the excellent recent collection Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia (Soundway), he experiments with James Brown-style funk and Afrobeat, but it's an anomaly—most of his recordings stick to a traditional approach that might sound tired if he weren't such an infectious, effervescent performer.' -Peter Margasak

1. Las Tapas 3:44
2. El Viejo Miguel 2:32
3. El Guayabo de la Yé 3:37
4. La Burrita de Eliseo 2:30
5. El Guayacan 2:47
6. La Miseria Humana 10:16
7. El Saludo 3:32
8. Acordeon Pitador 2:21
9. Ayapel 4:59
10. Entre Rejas 3:53
11. Milena 4:22
12. El Pasito Tun Tun 2:57


''Born in 1939 in Corozal, Lisandro recorded some 110 albums of which we have this one today. It is from 1974 and contains golpe, vallenato, Paseo, puya, rumbita and merengue. I am a fan since I first heard his work.'' -Moos