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Cuba based rap duo, Zona Franka, blends traditional rhythms with the grit and swagger of hip-hop and rap vocal phrasings. Their clever shout choruses create instant tropical dance classics using their unique self-titled "changui con flow" style.
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Sunday, 03 July 2011, 08:05 AM

REENCUENTROS by Maraca & His Latin Jazz All Stars

CD - DVD Review

In the United States, we sometimes get too fixated upon labels and boundaries when discussing music, partilcularly when it comes to Jazz and Classical; some Americans like to entertain the notion that the two disciplines rarely mix well, and consequently, when strings (other than solo violin) are incorporated into Jazz recordings here, the results are sometimes met with suspicion by casual listeners and critics alike who fear, rationally or not, that the session is a cynical attempt to crack the "easy listening" market.
     Cuban musicians aren't confronted with that issue, at least not to the same degree.  Even in the middle of the last century, Cachao, a key figure in the development of the Mambo as well as the art of the descarga, had a dual career as a classical bassist, and most if not all of the younger generation of Cuban jazz artists has been classically trained as well.  No sane listener would accuse the best of them of a failure to swing as a consequence of their familiarity with classical idioms.
     This brings us to Maraca's latest Jazz recording, Reencuentros , which was recorded live at the Grand Theater of Havana  with a specially-assembled, international all-star cast of jazz musicians including: ...read the full review here



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