Rodolfo “Fito” Olivares

With more than thirty albums under his belt, it would seem that Rodolfo “Fito” Olivares, Texas’ king of the tropical sound, is taking a giant leap with his first concept album, Zoológico Tropical . Not necessarily so. The Houstonian frames his signature alto sax over his trademark cumbia beats in songs that pay tribute to the animals in the zoo, but for all the paeans to kangaroos (“El Paso del Canguro”), frogs (“La Ranita”), and snakes (“Cumbia de la Cobra”), the best thing about the CD is that it provides Olivares an excuse to reprise one of his greatest hits, “La Gallina,” the chicken song. Zoológico Tropical affirms why Olivares remains a dance hall favorite in Texas and Latin America: Sometimes simplicity is more than enough.

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