Reseñas

Type Artist Product Date Author
CD El Septeto Santiaguero & José Alberto "El Canario" Portadasmall 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.
ESPAÑOL: El Septeto Santiaguero regresa con nueva colaboración con José Alberto "El Canario" y una lista impresionante de artistas invitados cubanos y extranjeros. Tradicional y innovador simultaneamente.

07/01/2018 Bill Tilford
CD Gastón Joya Mamainares Mama Ina - (Unicornio) - Released 2018

ENGLISH: Bassist Gastón Joya's first commercially-released solo album, a trio project with some special guests, is the winner of the Jazz Soloist category in Cubadisco 2018
ESPAÑOL: El primer álbum de bajista Gastón Joya lanzado en el mercardo, un proyecto en trio con invitados especiales, es ganador de la categoríá Jazz Solista en Cubadisco 2018.

10/14/2018 Bill Tilford
CD Formell y Los Van Van Legadosmall Legado - (EGREM) - Released 2017

ENGLISH: Legado, the latest by Formell y Los Van Van, is an exciting combination of material from the early days of the band with current compositions. It won a Special Prize in Cubadisco 2018 and as of this writing is also a nominee for Best Tropical Latin Album in this year's GRAMMY awards.
ESPAÑOL: Legado, el nuevo de Formell y Los Van Van, es una combinación emocionante de material desde los primeros años del grupo con composiciones actuales. Ganó un Premio Especial en Cubadisco 2018 y en este momento es nominado a la categoríá Mejor Álbum Latino Tropical en los premios GRAMMY

10/14/2018 Bill Tilford
CD Hermanos Arango Benditasmall Bendita Guanabacoa

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.
ESPAÑOL: La familia Arango ha sido una fuerza gigante en Rumba, Jazz cubano, Folclore afrocubano y Timba hace décadas. Bendita Guanabacoa por Hermanos Arango, nominado para un Cubadisco en 2019, lo reúne todo en una nueva grabación maravillosa que contiene sorpresas genuinas incluso para oídos bien formados.

09/22/2019 Bill Tilford
CD Ernesto Vega Tradbeyondsmall Tradition and Beyond

ENGLISH: Tradition and Beyond, the new release by clarinet virtuoso and composer Ernesto Vega with some of Cuba's best young Jazz stars, is a heartfelt Jazz tribute with original compositions to some of the musicians to which Ernesto listened in his youth
ESPAÑOL: Tradition and Beyond, el nuevo lanzamiento del virtuoso de clarinete y compositor Ernesto Vega con unos de las mejores jovenes estrellas de Jazz en Cuba, es un tributo jazzistico sencillo con composiciones originales a algunos de los músicos a que Ernesto escuchaba en su infancia y juventud.

09/22/2019 BIll Tilford
CD Kiki Valera Vivencias en clave cubana (featuring Coco Freeman) 10/18/2019 Tom Ehrlich
CD/DVD Manolin El Medico de la Salsa Tiene-que-ser-manolinsmall Tiene Que Ser Manolin - (Xplosion Entertainment) Released 2012

Manolin does a little bit of everything here, and different tracks may appeal to different listeners.

03/24/2013 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Maraca & His Latin Jazz All Stars Rencuentroswebsitesmall Reencuentros - (Independent Release 2011, EGREM 2012) Initial Release 2011

This Cuban Jazz recording by Maraca and a cast of supporting all stars received critical acclaim internationally including a glowing review by Downbeat in the United States.

01/09/2012 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Ernan López-Nussa Lopeznussa__1_small Pas de Trois - (Colibri) Released 2009

This beautiful trio recording has Ernán at the grand piano and incorporates elements from much of the history of Cuban and US popular music and Jazz as well as his classical training. For those who only know of Ernán from his work with Afro-Cuban groups, this shows a different side of his talents.

09/01/2011 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro Habanatienesuson_septetoignaciopineiro__1_small La Habana Tiene Su Son - (Bis) Released 2012

This distinctive CD/DVD set includes both live and studio recordings of the Septeto, an interview with musicologist Helio Orovio and liner notes that make this both an excellent musical production and a valuable historical document. Nominated in both the Latin GRAMMY awards and Cubadisco 2013.

01/10/2014 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Various Artists Veinte-pianossmall Veinte Pianos - (Cinquillo/Colibri) Released 2011

Winner of the Grand Prize in Cubadisco 2012, this unique project features the music of Ernán López-Nussa in a way that also showcases the talent of some of Cuba's young generation of new pianists. The product also includes sheet music, a documentary, videos and a photo gallery with more than 3 hours of active content.

01/19/2014 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Los Hermanos Arango Arangoestrellas Los Hermanos Arango Y Las Estrellas del Folklor - (Bis Music) - Released 2011

This excellent folkloric fusion project won multiple Cubadisco awards in 2012 and is one of the best projects of its kind.

05/08/2014 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Ernán López-Nussa Sacrilegiolargesmall Sacrilegio - (Colibrí) Released 2014

Winner of 5 Cubadisco Awards (including the Grand Prize) in 2014, Sacrilegio is an extraordinary project by Ernán López-Nussa that may very well be the most ambitious blending of Jazz, Cuban and Classical music ever recorded by any artist to date.

06/01/2014 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Various Artists Medicencubacovelarge Me dicen Cuba -(EGREM) Released 2014

You have probably already seen a piece of this due to the Havana D'Primera video clip that is all over the web, but that clip is part of a far larger, more ambitious project with a multitude of artists to be released to the general public in the months to come. This is a sneak preview of that project, which was awarded a Special Prize at Cubadisco 2014.

06/03/2014 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD César López y Habana Ensemible Cesarlopezlive 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.

07/31/2014 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Michel Herrera Madre_tierra Madre Tierra - (Colibrí) - Released 2013

This extraordinary Jazz recording would be remarkable in any country and represents the best of the youth movement in today's Cuban Jazz. It was nominated for multiple Cubadisco 2014 awards - Jazz, Audiovisual Concert, CD/DVD, Video Clip, Making of, and Liner Notes. It won the Audiovisual Concert category.

08/03/2014 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Sergio Vitier 908-sergio-vitier-identidadsmall Identidad - (Bis Music) - Released 2012

Identidad was awarded a Cubadisco in the Documentary category in 2014. The CD portion of this CD/DVD combination includes reissues of two fascinating recordings (homenajes and Travesía) by Sergio Vitier, who was one of the key members of GES (Grupo de Experimentacion Sonora del ICAIC) before it disbanded. Indeed, these recordings, while all his own compositions, are reminiscent of some of the best work of that group.

08/05/2014 Bill Tillford
CD/DVD Ruly Herrera Maltiemposmall Mal Tiempo - (Colibri) Released 2015

This Cubadisco 2015 winner (Jazz and Making of) fits perfectly in the part of the musical spectrum occupied by bands like the Yellowjackets, Weather Report, the Chick Corea Electric Band and some of Herbie Hancock's work. Very electric in more ways than one.

06/08/2015 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Alejandro Falcon Alejandrofalcon_copysmall 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)

06/09/2015 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Luis Barberíá feat Sexto Sentido A_fulsmalll 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.

06/16/2015 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Yasek Manzano Amnios1407small 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.

06/28/2015 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Estado de ánimo Estadodeanimosmall Estado de ánimo - (Cinquillo/Colibrí) Released 2014

This is like finding buried treasure - the best of an extraordinary Jazz/Fusion concert from the 1990s comes back to life. If you live outside of Cuba, you may not know about Estado de ánimo, but its members - Ruy López-Nussa, Roberto Carcassés, Elmer Ferrer and Descemer Bueno - made some of the best Cuban music of the decade together. Nominated for Cubadisco 2015 awards in Jazz and Musical Documentary.

07/06/2015 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Zule Guerra & Blues de Habana Bluesdehabanasmall 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.

01/25/2016 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Alaín Daniel Trayectosmall Trayecto - (Ahí Nama) Released 2014

This 2015 Cubadisco nominee (Música Popular Bailable, Novedades) has not been officially released yet, but it is musically quite good.

04/10/2016 Bill Tilford
Concert Various Artists Fcblogmainweb1small Third Annual Festival Cubano in Chicago Illinois August 4-5 2012

The third edition of Chicago's new Cuban cultural festival shows continued progress and improvement, and there are opportunities for even more.

08/08/2012 Bill Tilford
Concert Mezcla Mezclarev2_100 Mezcla - Live in Chicago 2013.06.29

Mezcla's tours in the U.S. have been limited to a few cities, it would be
nice if the rest of the country had a chance to see them as well.

07/30/2013 Bill Tilford
Concert Calle Real Cr-review 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.

09/15/2013 Michelle White
Concert Pacific Mambo Orchestra Pmo_gary_indiana_100 Pacific Mambo Orchestra - Concert in Gary Indiana - 26 October 2013

So many high-caliber bands are putting on good concerts these days that it is worth noting when one of them goes the extra mile and puts on a real Show (if you don't get the difference, that means you've never seen the latter). PMO did that in Gary, Indiana to help kick off their national tour.

10/26/2013 Bill Tilford
Concert Orquesta Aragon Aragonsmalltimba Orquesta Aragon in Chicago 2014

Orquesta Aragón returned to Chicago after an absence of more than a decade for two shows at the Mayne Stage in Chicago. The venue was full and enthusiastic for their swinging performances.

04/20/2014 Bill Tilford
Concert Havana d'Primera Hdpsmall Havana d'Primera at Logan Square Auditorium

This is a great band, and it should have been a great show, but the apparent indifference to production values on the part of the presenter led to an epic battle between the band and a hostile acoustic setting and sound system. The band fought bravely to the very end, but only moments of clear music emerged from the muddled audio, and were it not for the fact that the audience was composed almost completely of hard core fans who were happy to even see their faces, the evening could easily have been a disaster.

08/09/2014 Bill Tilford
Concert Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Scenesfromlifesmall Scenes From Life: Cuba!

An excellent collaboration between the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and ISA. Hopefully this will evolve into an expanded, continuous exchange between the musical communities of Chicago and Havana.

11/18/2015 Bill Tilford
Concert Havana D'Primera Icon_-alexander HdP @Kraken - Stockholm

The band played impeccably reminding me what an awe-inspiring experience it is to see one of Cuba's greatest bands live.

10/27/2017 Michelle White
DVD Pablo Menéndez Mezclagraphicsmall Todos Estrellas del Jazz Cubano - (Cinquillo/Colibri) Released 2013

If you think you know everything there is to know about Pablo Menéndez from his past recordings with Mezcla, think again - this intense Jazz DVD not only shows sides of him that you may not know, but it will radically change your perceptions of the current Jazz scene in Cuba as well.

01/08/2014 Bill Tilford
DVD Juan Formell y Los Van Van Vanvan40lsmalljpg Van Van 40 - (Unicornio) Released 2012

This DVD, which was nominated for a Cubadisco in 2013 in the live recording category, includes a 2006 40th Anniversary concert, extra footage of interviews and conversations, English subtitles in the spoken parts of the film, and some video and photo footage of the beginnings of Los Van Van.

01/16/2014 Bill Tilford
DVD Pupy & Los Que Son Son Pupyexitos 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.

04/20/2014 Bill Tilford
DVD Chuchito Valdes Chuchitovaldes15small Mi Voz (Music Roots Records) - Released 2014

This is a nice video single filmed in Havana featuring Mercedes Cortes Alfaro singing a ballad accompanied by two of her sons, Chuchito Valdes and Roberto Fonseca.

07/03/2014 Bill Tilford
DVD Ernesto Vega & Harold López-Nussa Portada_dvd_duosmall Dúo- (Colibrí) Released 2014

Dúo is a wonderful live performance film of a concert in 2012 by Ernesto Vega and Harold López-Nussa. The music and the productions values were both superb, and it is a special accomplishment to perform this well as a Jazz duet. Great chemistry here. Dúo was nominated for Cubadisco 2015 awards for Audiovisual Concert and Live Recording.

06/14/2015 Bill Tilford
DVD Various Artists Bailarcasinofacilsmall 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.

11/29/2015 Bill Tilford
Film Edesio Alejandro 100sonescubanossmall Los 100 Sones Cubanos (2010) Directed by Edesio Alejandro & Rubén Consuegra

This film does not attempt to be a comprehensive history of the Son but does include some interesting historical information as well as some entertaining and sometimes unusual live performances,

04/14/2012 Bill Tilford
Film Josué Joseph Lepocasmall La Época, Part I - The Palladium Era (2009) Directed by Josué Joseph

This film is a cinematic ode to the Palladium Era and the Mambo Craze in New York, a time before "Salsa" and simplified dance steps and rhythms took hold in the clubs. This film is not without its flaws but raises some good conversation topics including the degree of communication between dancers and bands then vs. now.

01/09/2012 Bill Tilford