15 años locos por la música (Bis Music) Released 2008
This 4-CD-set is hands down one of the best collections of various artists to emerge from Cuba in the last two decades. It is loaded with Cubadisco winners and even includes genres like classical that seldom show up in packages of this tupe.
45 D' LUJO (EGREM) Released 2009
This special collection of 10 CDs (192 songs) was issued in 2009 in honor of EGREM's 45th Anniversary and includes selections from the years 1961-2009.
5 Leyendas de Cuba (EGREM) Released 2008
This 5-CD set covers the careers of Eliades Ochoa, Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo and Rubén González in a broader context than their work associated with the Buena Vista Social Club using EGREM's recordings of them.
70 Americas - (Colibrí) Released 2014
The original Orquesta América was the cradle of the chachachá, and the Cuban version (it's complicated, there are offspring in Mexico and the US) of this fine charanga orchestra celebrated its 70th Anniversary in 2012. 70 Americas won Cubadisco 2015 awards for Miscellaneous Traditional and Liner Notes for this new recording by a younger generation of members.
|CD||Cubana All Stars||
A Dream Come True - (Viva Combo Music) Released 2012
A massive (40 musicians) all-star project recorded in Havana with alternate takes of various modern Cuban dance hits.
|CD/DVD||Luis Barberíá feat Sexto Sentido||
A Full - (EGREM) Released 2014
WInner of the Cubadisco 2015 in Fusion and a nominee in the Making Of category, A Full is not at all awful - pleasant, laid back, with some light R & B stylings courtesy Sexto Sentido's angelic voices. I would much rather hear this on the guagua than what many of the drivers are blasting.
|CD||El Septeto Santiaguero & José Alberto "El Canario"||
A mi qué - (EGREM) - Released 2018
ENGLISH: El Septeto Santiaguero is back with another collaboration with José Alberto "El Canario" and an impressive roster of both Cuban and foreign guest artists. Traditional and innovative simultaneously.
Añejo carta de oro - 100 joyas de la música cubana (Bis Music) released 2013
This excellent 6-CD, 100-song set focuses on traditional music from as far back as María Teresa Vera to modern artists such as Mayito Rivero covering classic songs. It includes a few groups that you may have read about but never actually heard.
Abracadabra - (OHL Music) 2016
ENGLISH: Abracadabra an audio kaleidoscope that defies easy description due to the multiple different styles performed within the recording. Expect the unexpected, but that's a good thing here. Several big names - Alaín Pérez, Kelvis Ochoa, Angel Bonne, Mayito Rivera, Malena Burke, Calixto Oviedo, Jimmy Branly and many others participate. . Nominated in the Fusion category of Cubadisco 2017.
ESPAÑOL: Abracadabra un caleidoscopio de audio que desafía la descripción fácil debido a los múltiples estilos diferentes realizados dentro de la grabación. Espere lo inesperado, pero eso es algo bueno aquí. Varios grandes nombres - Alaín Pérez, Kelvis Ochoa, Angel Bonne, Mayito Rivera, Malena Burke, Calixto Oviedo, Jimmy Branly y muchos otros participan. . Nominado en la categoría Fusion de Cubadisco 2017.
|CD||Paulo FG y su Élite||
Abre que voy - (EGREM) - Released 2013
Paulo FG returns with a mix of genres including Timba, Salsa and a Bachata and Regueton track, all performed well. Nominated for a Cubadisco in the Música Popular Bailable category.
Abre todas las puertas - (Bis) - Released 2013
Nominated in the Pop category in Cubadisco 2014, this recording captures many of the styles now appearing regularly on Cuban radio, from Disco to Latin Pop to surf guitar.
Alma de sonero - (Connector Records) Released 11/06/2013
Mayito’s familiar voice is the perfect vehicle to introduce a new generation
Amnios 1407 - (Colibri) Released 2009
Better late than never dept: This came out long before we had a reviews section, but this Cubadisco 2010 winner for Jazz and Recording (and part of Colibrí's The Jazz Young Spirit Collection) is Mr. Manzano's first recording as sole leader and quite simply one of the best recordings of Jazz in Cuba ever made, so it would be a sin not to write about it here.
|CD||Jorge Luis Torres||
Ancestral - (Iroko) Released 2013
This new Latin Jazz project by Toronto-based Cuban percussionist Jorge Luis Torres "Papiosco" will especially appeal to percussionists and fans of other groups like Bongo-Logic and Shades of Jade that make extensive use of violin and flute in their Jazz arrangements.
Andar Andando - (Bis Music) - Released 2000
With the release of “Andar Andando”, Azucar Negra has produced a timba classic for the new millennium. The dynamic duo of writer-arranger, Leonel Limonta and vocalist Haila Mompie (both founders of another powerhouse group, Bamboleo), have come up with a delicious blend of rhythms that will grab hold of both dancer and listener alike...
Así de Sampling - (Zig Zag/Colibrí) Released 2017
ENGLISH: Así de Sampling by Vocal Sampling is the winner of the Choral and Vocal Music category in Cubadisco 2017. Unique as always and with a wonderful sense of humor as well.
ESPAÑOL: Así de Sampling de Vocal Sampling es ganador de la categoría Música coral y vocal en Cubadisco 2017. Úinco como siempre y con un sentido de humor maravilloso también.
|CD||Ivan "Melon" Lewis||
Ayer y Hoy - (Cezanne Producciones) Released 2014
Nominated in both Cubadisco (Cuban Jazz) and the Latin GRAMMY awards (Latin Jazz, Best New Artist), Ayer y Hoy puts Ivan "Melon" Lewis, who already solid credentials in the genre of Timba and other parts of the Jazz and Cuban music spectrum, firmly in the ranks of important current Cuban Jazz recording artists and composers. Rich and complex while remaining emotional.
|DVD||Pupy & Los Que Son Son||
Éxitos - (EGREM) Released 2012
Nominated in the Compilation category in Cubadisco 2013, this DVD contains 30 slamming Timba MP3s of some of Pupy's best material along with a 25-minute documentary.
|CD||Yissy & Bandancha||
Última Noticia (Zona Jazz 2016/EGREM 2017)
ENGLISH: Winner of the Opera Prima (best new artist) and Diseño (Design) categories in Cubadisco 2017, Última Noticia has an origin story almost as interesting as the album itself - a galvanizing mix of Jazz, Fusion, Cuban Music, Funk, NuJazz - kind of like Acid Jazz 3.0 but even better.
|CD||Orlando Valle "Maraca"||
¡Suspendan Los Comentarios! - (Independent) Released 2013
Maraca apparently read the memo from that portion of his fans that wanted a front-to-back dance album. Here it is, and it is his best dance music recording to date, although it is musically intelligent enough to keep his Jazz fans engaged as well.
|CD||Dafnis Prieto Big Band||
Back to the Sunset - (Independent) - Released 2017
ENGLISH: Dafnis Prieto's new project, the Dafnis Prieto Big Band, proves that all those who keep trying to write the obituary for new, creative big band music need to throw their crayons in the trash, shut up, and listen. Big bands live, and they are still doing new and exciting things.
Bailar Casino es muy facil - Rueda Entertainment & RTV Commercial 2005
Made in Cuba with a great deal of passion for the subject, this video about Rueda de Casino is a multilevel instructional course AND includes history and interviews with founders of this now-global dance phenomenon.
ENGLISH: The Arango Family has been a giant force in Rumba, Cuban Jazz, Afrocuban Folklore and Timba for decades. Bendita Guanabacoa by Hermanos Arango, nominated for a Cubadisco in 2019, brings it all together In a wonderful new recording that contains genuine surprises even for well-educated ears.
|CD||Bobby Carcassés y AfroJazz||
Blues Con Montuno - (Bis Music) - Released 2017
ENGLISH: Blues Con Montuno is the latest release by master showman and Jazz artist Bobby Carcassés. It won a Premio Cubadisco in 2017 for Jazz Soloists. There is indeed some excellent Cuban Blues here, but the album features the styles of Jazz for which Bobby is renowned (some of it danceable, naturally). And, there is, of course, a lot of great scat singing.
|CD/DVD||Zule Guerra & Blues de Habana||
Blues de Habana - (EGREM) released 2015
This is the VERY impressive debut release by Zule Guerra & Blues de Habana, a relatively new presence in the Nu Jazz scene that is beginning to flower in Cuba. Yasek Manzano and Bobby Carcassés add additional firepower to an already formidable group. This hasn't really hit the US yet, but when it does it may make some waves.
Border-Free - (Jazz Village) Released 2013.07.09
The back story to the cover art started some interesting conversations within the Latin Jazz community, but nobody can reasonably deny that Chucho's new release is musically intense. Released in Cuba under Colibrí label with the title Sin Fronteras, this was nominated for a GRAMMY (Latin Jazz) and a Cubadisco (Jazz Cubano)
Bueno - (Bis Music) Released 2013
Bueno was one of two winners of the Composers Prize in Cubadisco 2013 and also won the Canción Contemporánea and Videoclip categories. Includes several collaborations with other prominent Cuban artists. This is a popular music album, but several promient Cuban Jazz musicians appear in the roster for the project. .
Calle Real at El Palacio Real (Stockholm) - 2013.09.15
Back after a six month hiatus, Calle Real performed two hot sets for dedicated fans who braved the autumn rain in Stockholm and were rewarded with two new songs.
Caminos Abiertos -(EGREM) Released 2015
Caminos Abiertos is the stunning debut album of trombonist/bandleader/composer/arranger Eduardo Sandoval, who has nearly cured my years-long period of mourning over our loss of Juan Pablo Torres with this new release.
Canto a Dios - (EGREM) - Released 2011
Canto a Dios is as deep as the river (the Mississippi) which inspired some of its compositions, and when the excitement surrounding Chucho's most recent release, Border Free, has subsided a bit, this 2011 release deserves a much closer second look by North America. It is not impossible that it will be one day be considered a masterpiece.
|CD||Chuchito Valdés & Eddy Navia||
Carnaval En Piano Charango - (Sukay/Pachamama) Released 2013.05.27
This is an innovative blending of Chuchito's Afro-Cuban and Jazz background with Eddy Navia's background in Andean folkloric music. The strongest ingredients in the mix are Andean, but the Cuban influences are unmistakable, and the final result is beautiful.
|CD/DVD||César López y Habana Ensemible||
César López & Habana Ensemble Live (Bis Music) - Released 2013
One of the very best Jazz combos in Cuba today in a CD/DVD combination package of a live concert in Havana in 2012. The music, audio and video are all superb. This was nominated for a Cubadisco in the Jazz Cubano category in 2014 and received a Cubadisco for best Live Recording.
Charanga Light 2 - (Blue Night Entertainment) Released 2013.05.15
The album shows that musicians in Cuba can perform other styles quite effectively and regular fans of CH should not despair.
Chucho Valdés presenta a Carlos Miyares - (BIS) Released 2012
Nominated for a Cubadisco for Cuban Jazz in 2013, this recording is deep and beautiful. Saxophonist Carlos Miyares' style has been described as post-Coltrane by some reviewers.
Claroscuro - (Cinquillo/Colibri) Released 2012
This 2013 Cubadisco winner in the Ópera Prima category (similar to Best New Artist in other countries) combines a variety of influences from Cuban music, Jazz and Funk. It's a Cuban Jazz album, but there are some Funk moments that will knock your socks off too.
|CD||Liuba María Hevia||
Colección 30 años (Bis Music) Released 2013
This is an intriguing 8-CD box set covering 30 years of recordings by one of Cuba's best representatives of the Nueva Trova movement, Liuba María Hevia. It won a Special Prize in Cubadisco 2014.
Con La Música Cubana NO! - (Latin Power Enterprises) Released 2013.10.19
Timbalive keeps getting better and better - their new release, Con La Música Cubana NO! is the best of their three albums to date. Solid Timba with touches of Rumba (in a tribute to Irakere) round out the recording.
Concierto de Frank Emilio -(EGREM)-
This excellent 1978 live concert was nominated for a Cubadisco in 2014 in the Música de archivo category. Part of EGREM's Cuba En Vivo series
Cu-Bop - (EGREM) Released 2012
This extraordinary album is what the title says it is, and possibly the best recording of it ever made anywhere. Recorded in the EGREM studios and originally manufactured and distributed by a Japanese label, now available in Cuba as an EGREM CD. Nominated for a Cubadisco in 2013 (Vocal-Instrumental Music), it deserves to win something, somewhere.
Cuba Now Danzón - (Colibrí) 2015
Cuba Now Danzon updates the Danzon with some modern touches, innovative arrangements (especially with brass) and a first-tier cast of musicians. It won Cubadisco 2015 awards for Instrumental Music and Recording (a technical category)