Música tropical de Cuba y Francia - Rubén Paz y Chéverefusión

Reviews

Type Artist Product Date Author
CD Calle Real Cr Dime Qué - (Calle Real Productions) Released 2015.12.21

"¿¡Dime Qué?!" has a rich instrumental texture: tres, piano, subtle synthesizer, elecric guitar, electric and acoustic bass and the horns, all woven together to create an irresistible dance album.

12/22/2015 Michelle White
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
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
CD Chucho Valdés Chuchoirakereportadasmall Tribute to Irakere [Live in Marciac] (Jazz Village) - Released 2015

This may not be exactly what many of us would have imagined for an Irakere anniversary tribute, but who would have imagined the original once upon a time? Faithful to the spirit and as riveting as the original. If Irakere had still existed today as a regular band, it might very well have sounded like this. New generations of virtuosos are at work here.
UPDATE: Winner of the 2016 GRAMMY for Latin Jazz

11/03/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Frasis Parafrasissmall Parafrasear - (EGREM) Released 2014

Parafrasear by Frasis is a mostly-instrumental album of Cuban popular music by a Fusion group in Cuba centered about a string quartet and a rhythm section. Before you scoff, consider that in Finland, Apocalyptica is performing some very entertaining Heavy Metal with cellos. It works if you know what you're doing, and Frasis does.

10/21/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Ivan "Melon" Lewis Ivanayersmall 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.

09/27/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Gema Corredera Coverfeelingmartasmall Feeling Marta - (GC Music LLC) - Released 2015.10.05

Gema Corredera's second solo project is a powerful tribute to Marta Valdés.

09/13/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Laritza Bacallao Laritzacover-icon Sólo se vive una vez - (Planet Records) Released 2014

The songs have the simplicity of merengue with the intensity of electronica, making it tempting and easy for even the most left-footed to dance along. It will appeal to the younger crowd and fans of that illusive Tropical genre.

07/12/2015 Michelle White
CD TRIO ON Trioonsmall TRIO ON - (Big Music Jazz) Released 2014

This intense trio recording was nominated for a Cubadisco 2015 award in the Jazz category. The liner notes shout out to Miles and Trane, Woody Shaw and Wayne Shorter, and they are undoubtedly important influences, but some of Dave Holland's small combo work might be a better example of the part of the spectrum this inhabits.

07/06/2015 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 Aymee Nuviola Firstclasssmall First Class to Havana - (Worldwide Entertainment) Released 2014

Nominated for a Latin GRAMMY (Salsa), a GRAMMY (Best Tropical Latin) and a Cubadisco (Música Popular Bailable - Maestros), this is an extremely solid dance album, and if that was its mission, then "mission accomplished". One does look at the guest artists and wonder what might have been...

07/05/2015 Bill TIlford
CD Alaín Pérez Hablandojuanasmall Hablando con Juana - (Bis Music) Released 2014

Alain Pérez's 4th album (and his first for a Cuban label) is a very well put together special project - a solid dance album, part TImba, part Salsa Cubana, part ballad, all quite good. It was nominated for a Cubadisco 2015 in the category Música Popular Bailable - Novedades, "novedades" being relative here. Some of it has an early NG La Banda vibe.

07/02/2015 Bill Tilford
CD David Álvarez y Juego de Manos Juegodemanossmall Somos Cuba - (EGREM) Released 2014

Like the group's name, this album is deceptively basic. A good solid dance album, but while you think you are dancing guaguancó, for example, it sneaks up on you with Vallenato stylings and other odds and ends. Which won't stop you from dancing. This was nominated for a Cubadisco 2015 in the Música Popular Bailable -Maestros category.

07/02/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Papo Vazquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours Spirit_warriorsmall Spirit Warrior - (Picaro Records) Released 2015

Trombonist/Composer/Bandleader Papo Vazquez has been experimenting with Bomba Jazz, which incorporates Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena with Hard Bop, since the 1980s. The mature results are VERY impressive.

06/28/2015 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 Diana Fuentes Planetaplasmall Planeta Planetario - (EGREM) Released 2014

Planeta Planetario features Diana Fuentes, an excellent vocalist, in a few different Pop music styles. It should be noted that the term "Pop" (as opposed to Nueva Trova) applies to music more or less similar to the rest of the world's use of the term.

06/25/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Various Artists Eterno-formell-varios-interpretes Eterno Formell - (Bis Music) Released 2014

Eterno Formell, which won an Extraordinary Prize in Cubadisco 2015, is a very imaginative reworking of several classic Juan Formell compositions. Like Juan's personal musical experiments in life, some of these new versions stand out more than others, but the best of this project shows pure genius on the part of the arrangers, and the artists are superb.

06/24/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Miguel Zenón Zenónidentitiescoversmall Identities are Changeable - (Miel Music) Released 2014

No, it's not about the Dolezal case, although it is based on a diffaerent identities question, specifically how New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent identify themselves. Instead of talking heads screaming at each other though, you get some really wonderful Latin Jazz.

06/21/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Tiempo Libre Tiempolibrepanamericanosmall Panamericano - (Universal) Released June 30, 2015

Timberos, it appears that Tiempo Libre really, really, really wants you back. That's b-a-c-k, NOT b-a-c-h. They are getting back to their origins at the very moment when some other Timba bands are running away from theirs for the promise of somethingorother. Exhibit A is the first video inside...

06/21/2015 Bill Tilford
CD JG Quenomecontrolen-icon Que no me controlen - (Ahí Namá) - Released 2014

JG's second album has has a contemporary, upbeat sound that epitomizes Cuba's youth culture. I highly recommend it for dancers and DJs. Put this on at parties and watch the dance floor fill up!

06/19/2015 Michelle White
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 Orquesta America 70americasasmall 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.

06/14/2015 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
CD Pablo Menéndez & Mezcla Puremezclasmall Pure Mezcla - (Tilford Productions) Released February 2015

Pure Mezcla is a live recording by Pablo Menéndez and Mezcla, recorded live at Yoshi's Oakland in 2013 and released in February 2015. Several critics and a battallion of Latin Jazz and World Music DJs love it. Since one TIMBA.com member produced it (Bill Tilford) and another mastered it (Michael Lazarus), we'll let those other critics tell you how good it is.

06/14/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Ernán López-Nussa Leksyzckiportadasmall Invención Lekszycki - (Colibrí) 2014

Winner of the Cubadisco 2015 award for Jazz Cubano (and nominated in the Recording category, an engineering award), Invención Lekszycki is a sort of panorama of the multiple roots that inform Ernán's work. Includes some unusual touches like Kelvis Ochoa singing a Jazz ballad and some Fusion elements. It works.

06/09/2015 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 Alexander Abreu Havana D'Primera Vueltalmundo La vuelta al mundo (Pafata/Sello Unicornio) - Released 2015

HDP goes after new listeners here - there is still some Timba, but also a lot more Salsa Cubana that will be danceable by non-Cubans. Musically excellent, and it has a Grand Prize in Cubadisco along with the award for Música Popular Bailable - Maestros to show for it. Will it reach the new ears for which it is intended? Time will tell.

06/08/2015 Bill Tilford
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 Manhattan School of Music Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra Qvhs Que Viva Harlem

Bobby Sanabria and the Manhattan School of Music Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra hit it out of the park again with Que Viva Harlem, a relentlessly swinging tribute to New York's Golden Age.

06/08/2015 Ian Stewart
CD Digna Guerra y Coro Entrevoces Oyesportada Oh Yes! - (Colibrí) Released 2015

This 2015 Cubadisco winner (Grand Prize and Choral Music) is a album of Negro Spirituals in English. Surprised? Don't be. This has been going on for quite a while in Cuba, it just managed to stay off a lot of North American radar screens until now.

06/08/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Melvis Santa Santahabanasmall Santa Habana -(Bis) Released 2012

Santa Habana is a project that features Melvis Santa's compositions and draws heavily from her colleagues in Interactivo (of which she was a member) and German Velazco, Telmary, Rumberos de Cuba and others. She was also a founding member of Sexto Sentido, and this recording helps reassure us that intelligent new music is still being made in Cuba even after incorporating influences from the US that could have proven unhealthy.

04/22/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Everton Paul W/ Ruy López-Nussa & La Academia Everton-pablo-paul-remembrancesmall Remembrance -(Side Door Records) - Released 2012

I'm told that this very Cuban treatment of the music of Bob Marley drew a mixed reception from Reggae purists, but hey, it's not supposed to be an album of exact covers - it is a fusion of Cuban music and Reggae from a band that has the chops and arrangements to make it worthwhile. Get into Mr. Marley's frame of mind first, then listen - the band, Ruy López-Nussa and La Academia, and Everton "Pablo" Paul, the Jamaican lead singer, have put together a very intriguing album.

04/20/2015 Bill TIlford
CD Ruy López-Nussa Laadademiasmall Ruy López-Nussa presenta La Academia -(Colibrí) 2015

This is not a revival of the music of the original Grupo Afrocuba, but fans of that group should go to the ends of the earth if necessary to find this music anyway. In many ways the sound is similar (not a big surprise since some of the same musicians are involved) , but La Academia is a step forward with deeper Afrocuban percussion fused with modern Cuban Jazz, Funk, Reggae and other music. The project is also designed to be educational for young people about percussion and rhythm in Cuban music. You probably can't buy this yet, but keep your eyes peeled. When this hits, it will turn heads. That shouldn't be too long since it was just nominated for a Cubadisco in the Jazz Cubano category.

04/19/2015 Bill Tilford
CD José Luís Cortés & NG La Banda Enlacalleuvmsmall En la calle una vez más - (Bis Music)- Released 2014

A hard-hitting new release by NG La Banda. Excellent arrangements, funny when it wants to be, Los Metales del Terror are in action, some solid Timba with a dash of Cuban Jazz, Conga/Merengue, Rumba and Bachata in the album.

04/13/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Elito Revé y su Charangón La_aplanadora_de_cubasmall La Aplanadora de Cuba - (Bis Music) Released 2014

Another exciting Changüi released by Revé. An aplanadora is a steamroller, and this is one, in a good way, for good dancers. Drink plenty of fluids before starting to listen to this.

04/13/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Moncada Enelmismolugalarger En el mismo lugar - (Colibrí) - Released 2012

This eclectic album, like the body of Moncada's work, incorporates a wide array of the different genres that have contributed to the evolution of Nueva Trova. Moncada, a multiple award winner in Cuba, is receiving an increased amount of attention in the United States after its recent appearance on Conan and an article in Rolling Stone. This review takes you a little deeper into their music.

04/13/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Julio Valdés Ifeelgoodsmall I Feel Good (Independent) - Released 2014

A new and eclectic independent recording by Julio Valdés, one of Cuba's most interesting Jazz and Fusion violinists. This will especially appeal to fans of groups like Grupo Afrocuba and Weather Report.

03/29/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Omar Sosa Omarsosailesmall ilé (Otá Records) Released March 10, 2015

ilé brings Omar Sosa closer to his Afro Cuban roots including guest appearances by Pedrito Martínez, Yosvany Terry and "Don Pancho" Terry, but there is also a heady mix of Flamenco elements, Jazz and West African ingredients.

03/10/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Septeto Santiaguero & José Alberto El Canario Noquierosmall No Quíero Llanto -Tributo a Los Compadres

An exciting 2-CD release by Septeto Santiaguero, José Alberto "El Canario" and an impressive supporting cast - practically an extravaganza of Son. The final result is quite distinctive while respecting the traditions and remaining authentic.
WINNER OF THE CUBADISCO 2015 Award for Traditional Son.

02/04/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Los Van Van Fantasiasmall La Fantasia (EGREM) Released December 2014

Its founder, Juan Formell, only performs (posthumously) on one track, but a resurgent Los Van Van captures the best of his spirit and comes roaring back in this new release on EGREM that is one of their best albums from any decade.

02/01/2015 Bill Tilford