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

SpanishEnglishA mi qué - (EGREM) - Released 2018

CD Review:  A Mi Qué  by Septeto Santiaguero with José Alberto "El Canario"
EGREM  2018
Review by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved


Although there are plenty of  one-off international collaborations between  various bands in Cuba and musicians in other countries, El Septeto Santiaguero has emerged as the indisputable  king of the international project phenomenon with its body of work over several albums including this newest one, A mi qué, the second album with  Dominican José Alberto "El Canario" sharing top billing.  This project's extensive guest artist roster also adds a number of Cuban guest artists including string and wind ensembles from the Orquesta Sinfónica de Oriente in a couple of tracks, and the engineering team is as international as the musician roster.  

The full tittle is A mi qué- Tributo a los clásicos cubanos, and the songs are quite familiar, but there is a slighly different interpretation of some of them - strong Rumba elements in La Guarapachanga,  a very changüi El guararey de Pastora, a touch of walking bass and moments of beatboxing  in A mi qué to mention just a few examples. Through it all, however, the Septeto remains in charge, and the songs never lose their Cuban sense of direction.  It helps that the visitors, especially El Canario, who is such a key part of the vocals, take Cuban stylings very seriously (yes, El Canario had his brief little gaffe with the Timba  - the genre, not the website - community in recent months, but no reasonable person would question his love and respect for Cuban music generally).  

I have opined on countless occasions that if one is recording the 50th or 60th version of a song, there is an obligation to say something distinctive with it while avoiding the corny.   A mi qué succeeds on this point.  

As this is being published, A mi qué is not yet available in the digital stores, but we anticipate that it will be in the very near future. 

Tracks:
1. Aprovecha, que llegó el sabor (intro)
2.  No me voy a disgustar (feat. Orlando Valle "Maraca") 
3. El Guararey de Pastora
4. Convergenia (feat. Gilberto Santa Rosa)
5. La guarapachanga (feat. Alexander Abreu)
6. Me tenían amarrao compé / Bilongo (feat Gilberto Santa Rosa)
7. Resulta un enigma (feat. Pancho Céspedes)
8.. La hija y la mama / Me botaron (feat. El Prodigio)
9.  A mí qué
10.  Qué te hace pensar (Alma mía)
11.  Desmuéstrame tú (feat. Ivan Antonio el Sonero de Cuba)
12. Santa Bárbara (Qué viva Changó)  (feat. Edwin Colón Zayas)
13.  La guarapachanga (feat Rúben Bulnes "Osain del Monte" y El Puro) 

Musical and Technical Credits for A mi qué

Role - InstrumentName
Director, Tres, Coros Fernando Dewar
Lead Vocal 1, 9; Second Voice 7, 10; Coros Inocencio "Chencho"Heredio
Lead Vocal 1, 2, 5, 13, Coros Giraldo "El Flaco" Bravo
Lead Vocal 3, 8; Coros; Guitars Rudens "Chiquitin" Matos
Baby Bass & Contrabass Dairon Robert
Congas  Gabriel Montero
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Coros  Alaín Dragoni
Lead Vocal 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. 12; Human Flute 1, 9 José Alberto "El Canario"
Guest Artists  Gilberto Santa Rosa (Lead Vocal 4, 6); Pancho Céspedes (Lead Vocal 7), Alexander Abreu (Lead Vocal & Trumpet 5); Rubén Bulnes (Lead Vocal, 13); Iván Antonio "El sonero de Cuba" (Lead Vocal, 11); Edwin Colón Zayas (Cuatro, 12); Alejandro Almenares (Requinto, 7); Orlando Valle "Maraca" (Flute, 2); Krency García "El Prodigio" (Accordion 8); Juan de la Cruz "Chocolate" (Tambor & Congas 8); Rafael Carrasco (Güiro 8); Carlos "El Pinto" Ellis (second tres); Ismael Borges, Eglys Ochoa & Alejandro Garrido (Maracas); Tony Rodón (Coros); Maykel Salazar (Coros 5, 13); Jorge "Koli"Maturell (Bongó 4, 7, 10); Pedro Speck (Bongó de Monte 3); Renier Silegas (Bass Vocal 9); Omar Planos (Beat Box 9); Lázaro Banderas (Iyá); Georbelis Sosa (Cajón); Einar Leliebre (Chequeré); Carlos Guerra (Quinto)
Octeto de cuerdas de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Oriente (7) Leonela Rodríguez, Clara Rodríguez (1st Violin); Daniel Guzmán, Mayra Quintana (2nd Violin); Katiuska Sliva, Wilmer de León (Viola); Orlando Hernández, Angélica Matos (Chelo)
Quinteto de viento de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Oriente (10) Carlos Robert (Bassoon); Idelisa Ortíz, Rosario Gola (Clarinets); Berlis David (English Horn); Gerson Valverde (Oboe) 
Producers Fernando Dewar, Geovanis Alcántara & Alden González
Musical Coproduction   Rudens Matos, Gabriel Montero, Angel "El Puro" Valerino (5, 13)
Executive Producers  José Alberto "El Canario", José Raposo, Fernando Dewar, Alden González
General Production Assistant Fernando Dewar Jr. 
Creative Direction Alden González
Recording Engineers Ismael Torres, Edgar Leyva & Ivan Salas en Estudios Siboney EGREM, Santiago de Cuba; Guido Díaz in Skylight Studios, New Jersey; Rolando Alejandro in Rolo Studio, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Julio Felíz in Sky View Studio, Santo Domingo; Additional recording Marvin Mustelier Estudio 18 EGREM, La Habana; Ivan Salas Estudios Areito EGREM, La Habana; Pedro Mantecón in Mantekorg Estudio, Cancún, Mexico; Edwin Colón Zayas in ECZ Studio, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Janína Rosado in Chocolab, Santo Domingo
Mixing Iván Salas, Ismael Torres, Geovanis Alcántara, Fernando Dewar & Alden González in Estudios Siboney EGREM, Santiago de Cuba
Mastering Ronnie Torres in Power Light Studios, Miami, FL 
Bill Tilford - Sunday, 01 July 2018, 05:59 PM