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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.

SpanishEnglishIdentidad - (Bis Music) - Released 2012

CD/DVD Review: Identidad by Sergio Vitier (Bis Music 2012)
Review by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved


Before they went their separate ways, several Cuban artists who are now internationally famous, including Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, Emiliano Salvador, Pablo Menéndez, Leo Brouwer, Sara González, Eduardo Ramos and others, worked together in the Grupo de Experimentacion Sonora del ICAIC (GES), which produced some of the most innovative music in Cuba during the 1970s and is one of this writer's favorite groups from that time. Although an important purpose of this group was to produce music for film soundtracks, it also profoundly influenced the development of the Nueva Trova movement and the experimental wing of Cuba's Jazz spectrum.  Composer and guitarist Sergio Vitier was an important member of GES, and for some reason, this writer lost track of Sergio's career subsequent to his time with that group.  That was an error on his part. 

Musically speaking, Identidad may be the closest thing to a GES album (apart from reissues of original GES albums) that has emerged in recent years.  All of the compositions are by Sergio Vitier. Thematically, the CD  is a reissue of two of his previous recordings:  Homenajes, which salutes several important personalities in Cuban music and dance, and Travesía, which brings together the diverse elements that in combination form much of modern Cuban music.  The compositions in Travesía are longer (Rondó al desconocido is over 22 minutes in duration for example), and they display many of the same elements that made the GES projects so distinctive. One difference is that there is a more prominent Afrocuban component with the batas, which reflects Mr. Vitier's experiences with Grupo ORU. The original liner notes from these earlier recordings as included as part of the product.  The DVD includes a documentary about Sergio Vitier's life and music, a video clip of the song Transparencias and a short documentary clip about Rondó al Desconocido.

This is an intriguing release, and it  will inspire this writer to take a second look at the rest of Mr. Vitier's career after GES. 

 

CD Themes - Homenajes:

Son (A Benny Moré)
Tema en re (A Benny Moré)
Guajira en 5/4 (A Eduardo Ramos)
Río Negro (A Alejo Carpentier)
Son ad libitum (A Alicia Alonso y Antonio Gades
El espectro de la guerra (A Jesús Pérez)
Danzón Flora (A René Portocarrero)
Oru en 7/4

CD Themes - Travesía

Nocturno de la habana
Odba Ilú
Rondó al desconocido

DVD contents

Identidad (Documentary.  Director: Lourdes de los Santos)
Transparencias (Video clip. Director: Léster Hamlet)
Rondó al dweconocido (Fragment, Docu Clip.  Director: Léster Hamlet) 

Executive Producer for Project: José Manuel García Suárez

Roster for  Homenajes 

Role - InstrumentName
Solo Guitar Sergio Vitier
Vocals Gema Corredera
Bass Orlando López (Cachaito)
Flute José Genaro García
Drums Guillermo Barreto
Piano  Domingo Aragú
Sax Nicolás Reinoso
Laúd Alejandro de Armas
Tumbas Angel González Vila
Tambores Batá Carlos Aldama, Ricardo Jaureguí & Mario Mederos
Producer, Arranger, Musical Director Sergio Vitier

Roster for Nocturno de La Habana

Role - InstrumentName
Solo Guitar Sergio Vitier
Bass Néstor del Prado
Flute Floraimed Fernández
Drums Pepe González
Piano  José María Vitier
Keyboards Adolfo Guzmán (son)
Tumbas Luis Bárbaro Rodríguez
Producer, Arranger, Musical Director Sergio Vitier


Roster for Odba Ilú

Role - InstrumentName
Electric Guitar Sergio Vitier
Vocals Inés María Carbonell
Bass Néstor del Prado
Flute Floraimed Fernández
Drums Pepe González
Piano  Domingo Aragú
Sax César López
Tumbas Angel González Vila
Tambores Batá Carlos Aldama, Alfonso Aldama & Mitchel Aldama
Keyboards Adolfo Guzmán (son)
Producer, Arranger, Musical Director Sergio Vitier

Roster for Rondó al desconocido

Role - InstrumentName
Guitar Sergio Vitier
Vocals Inés María Carbonell
Bass Néstor del Prado
Flute Floraimed Fernández
Drums Pepe González
Piano  Frank Fernández
Sax César López
Tumbas Angel González Vila
Tambores Batá Carlos Aldama, Alfonso Aldama & Mitchel Aldama
Keyboards Adolfo Guzmán (son)
Producer, Arranger, Musical Director Sergio Vitier

 

Bill Tilford - Tuesday, 05 August 2014, 01:31 PM