Musae - (Dafnison Music) Released 2012.09.04
Roman Filiu is part of the colony of cutting-edge Cuban Jazz artists who settled in New York. This straight-ahead Jazz project won the prize for Jazz in Cubadisco 2013.
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.
Todo está bien - (Colibri) Released 2012
Nominated for a Cubadisco award in the Popular Dance Music category in 2013. In a different year when it would not have been competing with Pasaporte, it might have had an excellent chance of winning, musically speaking.
|CD||Cuban Salsa All Stars||
Tumbao pal bailador - (Cubamusic) Released 2012
A "Cuban Salsa All Star" project with a massive cast of musicians including Betty y su Proyecto Tiempo, Lesmer Solenzar, Laritza Bacallao, Maykel Blanco y su Salsa Mayor, Alexander Abreu, Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco, El Indio, Tania Pantoja and Pedrito Calvo.
Magic Place - (Independent Release) Released 2011
Fans of Weather Report and Grupo Afrocuba will enjoy this eclectic recording, which was nominated for a Cubadisco award in Jazz in 2013. Although Alfredo Chacon is a vibraphonist, this is more than just a vibraphone album.
La Timba pa' to' el Mundo - (Latin Power Enterprises) Released 2011
This recording was nominated for a Cubadisco award in 2012 in the Popular Dance Music category, a rare distinction for a dance band based in the United States.
New Cuban Express - (Mavo Records) Released 2012
This album was nominated for a GRAMMY in the Latin Jazz category in 2012 and is one of the most exciting and inventive recordings of Latin Jazz in many years.
Border-Free - (Jazz Village) Released 2013.07.09
The back story to the cover art started some interesting conversations within the Latin Jazz community, but nobody can reasonably deny that Chucho's new release is musically intense. Released in Cuba under Colibrí label with the title Sin Fronteras, this was nominated for a GRAMMY (Latin Jazz) and a Cubadisco (Jazz Cubano)
Vamos pa' la fiesta - (Picap) Released 2012
This recording by one of Cuba's best son bands features an impressive international collection of guest singers and was awarded a Cubadisco award in Traditional Tropical Music in 2013.
Pasaporte - (Colibri) Released 2012
Winner of the Cubadisco award for Popular Dance Music in 2013, Pasaporte is Timba (or Cuban Salsa if you prefer) at its very best.
La Noche Más Larga - (Warner Music Latina) Released 2013.06.04
Buika continues her streak of emotionally powerful recordings with a cast that includes Cuban musicians Alaín Pérez, Iván Melón Lewis and Pedrito Martinez.
El País de las Maravillas - (World Village) Released 2011
Harold López-Nussa may not be as famous as uncle Érnan yet, but if he keeps putting out recordings like his one, that will change in time.
Dial - (Blue Night Entertainment) Released 2013.02.18
"Dial", Buena Fe’s eighth studio CD, is a tribute to the 90th anniversary of Cuban Radio, which took place in 2012. It is also is an experimental project that goes in search of fresh sounds, marking a new phase in the band’s artistic development.
Retro - (Pink Chaos) Released 2012
A tribute to the North American Salsa of the 70's that was played by groups like Eddie Palmieri's band, Retro won the GRAMMY for Best Tropical Latin Album in 2013.
|CD||Pacific Mambo Orchestra||
Pacific Mambo Orchestra - (Independent Release) Released 2012
Well-done big band Mambo from a rising band based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Firmly based in tradition but with some modern touches as well.
|CD||Alfredo De La Fe||
Sin Limites - (No Borders Entertainment) Released 2013.04.29
Alfredo de la Fe's new collaborative release with Rodry-Go mixes Charanga with multiple other styles and manages for the most part to do so successfully.
My Secret Radio - (Sony Masterworks) Released 2011
Tiempo Libre returns to its dance music roots with a mixture of Timba and some of the North American Soul, Jazz and other dance music styles that the members listened to while still living on the island.
|CD||Los Van Van||
La Maquinaria - (EGREM) Released 2011
A combination of new takes on older Los Van Van songs and some new material, this recording was nominated for a Latin GRAMMY in 2012.
Que No Pare La Fiesta - (Independent Release) Released 2011
Shhh, don't tell anybody, but this "Progressive Salsa" band in LA plays some very good Songo and Timba too. We wouldn't want some of the "I don't like Timba" people currently dancing to this to freak out...
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.
Quatro: The Definitive Collection - (Sony Music Latin) Released 2012
Tito Puente, while not Cuban himself, always made it perfectly clear that the music that he played was of Cuban origins. This 5-CD retrospective includes some of the best of his more Jazz-oriented work along with some of his greatest dance hits.
Heritage - (Independent Release) Released 2012.03.28
Angel d'Cuba sang with a few groups including Mezcla back in Cuba. This is his debut solo album in the United States featuring mostly his own compositions and an eclectic variety of styles including a Funk Mozambique version of Can't Hide Love.
Eggun - (OTA Records) Released 2013.02.01
An ingenious Afro-Cuban tribute to, but NOT a cover of, Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. Miles was here, but this recording is very much Omar's.
Sonando Ya - (World Village) Released 2010
This recording by one of Cuba's most prominent Son bands was nominated for a Latin GRAMMY in 2010 and includes a nice mix of different tempos.
Andar Andando - (Bis Music) - Released 2000
With the release of “Andar Andando”, Azucar Negra has produced a timba classic for the new millennium. The dynamic duo of writer-arranger, Leonel Limonta and vocalist Haila Mompie (both founders of another powerhouse group, Bamboleo), have come up with a delicious blend of rhythms that will grab hold of both dancer and listener alike...
Alma de sonero - (Connector Records) Released 11/06/2013
Mayito’s familiar voice is the perfect vehicle to introduce a new generation
|CD||Cubana All Stars||
A Dream Come True - (Viva Combo Music) Released 2012
A massive (40 musicians) all-star project recorded in Havana with alternate takes of various modern Cuban dance hits.
Expectativas - (Mavo Records) Released 2013.09.03
This is the second album by Manuel Valera's New Cuban Express (the first was nominated for a GRAMMY in the Latin Jazz category and a Cubadisco in the Jazz Cubano category), and it is every bit as powerful and moving as the first. It has currently been nominated for a Cubadisco (Jazz Cubano)
|CD||Orquesta el Macabeo||
Lluvia Con Sol - (Discos de Hoy) Released 2013.06.07
(Reviewed for our "Nuestros Primos Musicales" section) One of Puerto Rico's most innovative young Salsa bands returns with new targets and solid music.
De Nuevo En El Solar - (Salsaneo Records) Released 2013.09.19
(Reviewed for our "Nuestros Primos Musicales" section). This is the second CD by Nabori, a rising "Salsa Brava" band in the Midwestern US. Many of its members are "on-call" when touring acts visit the region and need musicians.
San Francisco - (Bacalao Records) Released 2013
The Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel returns with a new release that represents some of the best of the California school of Latin Jazz.
Today's Opinion - (Criss Cross) Released 2012
Today's Opinion by Yosvany Terry won the Cubadisco award in 2013 for Jazz Cubano. Yosvany is a key figure in the colony of cutting-edge Cuban Jazz artists now based in New York.
Yo - (Jazz Village) Released 2012
This recording won the Cubadisco 2013 awards for Fusion and Recording (an engineering award), and it contains a potent mix of multiple genres.
No Pares - (Independent Release) Released 2012.12.05
"No Pares" is Leslie Cartaya's debut solo project. Many listeners know of her work with Miami's Afro-Cuban Funk band Palo!; her solo project features her in a wide range of styles and genres from the traditional to the now. This has been nominated for the Best New Artist Category in the 14th Latin GRAMMY Awards
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.
Grand Piano Live - (Music Roots Records) 2013.05.01
This recording, which has been nominated in the Latin Jazz category for the 14th Annual GRAMMY Awards, is the result of a live solo performance of Chuchito at the Steinway at the 2012 Indy Jazz Fest in September 2012.
New Day - (Jazz Village) - Released 2013.10.08
Harold López-Nussa's newest album, New Day, brings more beautiful songwriting and virtuosic performing from this rising young member of the illustrious López-Nussa family.
Waterside (Self-Produced) - Released 2013.05.31
Appalatin's "Waterside" is an unusual and pleasant blend of Andean, Appalachian, "Roots" music, Cumbia, Caribbean - think of a Western-Hemisphere acoustic jam session where nobody asked you where you were from or what that instrument you were carrying is called.
|CD||Jorge Luis Torres||
Ancestral - (Iroko) Released 2013
This new Latin Jazz project by Toronto-based Cuban percussionist Jorge Luis Torres "Papiosco" will especially appeal to percussionists and fans of other groups like Bongo-Logic and Shades of Jade that make extensive use of violin and flute in their Jazz arrangements.