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LA TIMBA LA TRAIGO YO - Nuevo Disco + Gira Europa de Robert Armas y los Conquistadores de la Salsa

Interviews & Reviews - CD Review & Interview: Daniel Martin

CD REVIEW AND INTERVIEW: DANIEL MARTIN
(All photos, review and interview by BIll Tilford, all rights reserved)

(Daniel Martin, left, and Jed Walker, right, at The Foundry, Aurora Illinois, 20 December 2011)

In addition to the music that is purely Cuban in origin, Cuba has had a lesser-known (to Americans at least) "pop" music scene for decades, sometimes mixed with tropical styles, sometimes not.  In more recent years, Reggaeton (along with Cubaton and Timbanton) has also gained a following along with Hip Hop and even some Techno.  Havana's young Daniel Martin is all of the above and none of the above.  He has worked and recorded with musicians from the Buena Vista Social Club, Sierra Maestra and the Afrocuban Allstars, but he has also worked with Hip Hop and Techno artists and with Madonna in Europe.  We caught up with him when he visited Aurora as part of a national meet and greet tour in preparation for an expanded tour  with a full band next year.   Although there is a great deal of background voice noise even after using some noise reduction, we found the interview interesting enough to include the audio (in English, Daniel performs in both English and Spanish and is fluent in both) here:
CLICK HERE TO PLAY INTERVIEW

We also listened to his most recent CD, Cuba Allstars (Dmusic Kacique, 2011), a self-produced project that included several prominent Cuban performers.

Since most of our website is dedicated to Timba, Cuban Jazz and Cuban tropical dance music, we need to begin with the advisory that there isn't any Timba, traditional Son  or Jazz in this recording, but there are selections of many  other modern popular styles, and they are done quite well in this eclectic project. The opening track, Te Quiero, has a Juan Luis Guerra type of merengue feel; Socalo has a cameo with Teresa Garcia Caturla including an Afro-Cuban section, there are some Cubaton tracks, some nice ballads (including a more old-school type of bolero), a little techno, some Salsa Romantica mixed with a little Funk, some Rock/Cancion and a Conga.  There is an appearance by Cesar Lopez of Irakere in the cancion Distancia Cruel, a few of the musicians from the Buena Vista Social Club and Camarata Romeu play in Cuba, some members of the Afro-Cuban Allstars turn up in Te Olvide, and the project was recorded in the home studio of one of the members of Sierra Maestra.    Three of the bonus tracks are in English; most of the rest of the recording is primarily in Spanish.  Daniel's voice is at home in all of these styles and in both languages.  The project was designed with the international market in mind, and it is quite possible that Daniel may become one of the first young Cubans still based in Havana  to make a big splash in some of the more mainstream "Latin Pop" markets in Europe, Latin America and the US.  Since he can't be pigeonholed as  just a  balladeer, a Cubaton artist or a Hip Hop artist, it will be interesting to see how the mainstream critics try to describe him over time. 
Daniel Martin's website, which includes some video samples, is Danielmartinmusic.com

 

 

Thursday, 29 December 2011, 10:32 PM