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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
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.
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
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||Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra||
Cuba The Conversation Continues -(Motema) released 2015
An historic recording in a very literal sense - recorded in Havana with several prominent Cuban guest artists, and the scope of the music ranges from the days of Gillespie and Pozo to the sounds of today (and perhaps even a taste of tomorrow). Currently a nominee for a GRAMMY for Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Instrumental Composition. If Jazz is part of your diet, this should already be on your shelf by now.
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.
|CD||Ivan Acosta y su Grupo De Cuba Somos||
A not-yet-released recording by one of Santiago de Cuba's best Jazz bands. Ivan Acosta's Grupo de Cuba Somos is one of the mainstays of the small but vibrant Jazz scene in Santiago. Review includes photos and links to an interview.
Cubafonía - (Brownswood Recordings) Released March 2017
ENGLISH: Cubafonía is Dayme Arocena's third full album in her own name. Accompanied by several members of Cuba's young Jazz elite, it also has a healthy mix of Rumba, Mambo, Changüi, Jazz and Funk There is a chemistry throughout this album that wasn't as consistently present at the same level in her earlier projects, and Çubafonía could prove to be her breakout album.
|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.
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)
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.