Reseñas

Type Artist Product Date Author
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 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
CD Orquesta el Macabeo Lluviaconsolsmall 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.

08/25/2013 Bill Tilford
CD Marialy Pacheco Marialypachecosmall Introducing Marialy Pacheco - (Neu Klang) Released 2014

A trio album with a subtle intensity by Marialy Pacheco, a Cuban pianist/composer now based in Germany. . The original compositions are the highlights of the recording.

04/10/2016 Bill Tilford
CD Pacific Mambo Orchestra Pacificmamboorchestra-1small 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.

09/09/2012 Bill Tilford
Concert Pacific Mambo Orchestra Pmo_gary_indiana_100 Pacific Mambo Orchestra - Concert in Gary Indiana - 26 October 2013

So many high-caliber bands are putting on good concerts these days that it is worth noting when one of them goes the extra mile and puts on a real Show (if you don't get the difference, that means you've never seen the latter). PMO did that in Gary, Indiana to help kick off their national tour.

10/26/2013 Bill Tilford
CD Palo! Palolive_snall Palo! Live (Rolling Pin Music) Released 2014

This is a recording of a phenomenal concert by Palo! at the now-shuttered PAX Miami. Some video clips of this performance also appear in the PBS documentary Miami Boheme. Powerful vocals by Leslie Cartaya, serious Afro Cuban Funk beats, and Ed Calle goes insane on tenor sax.

04/13/2014 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 Daniel Peña Dp_eleven_coversmall Eleven (Big Label Records) Released August 2014

Rising percussionist Daniel Peña's debut solo album, Eleven, a Latin Jazz project, includes cameo appearances from the likes of Tito Puente Jr. Richie Ray and Marlow Rosado along with very well-crafted arrangements and considerable drive.

10/20/2014 Bill Tilford
CD El Noro y Primera Clase Sinescalasmall Sin Escala - (Unicornio) Released 2015

Winner of the Música Bailable - Nuevos Talentos category in Cubadisco 2016, El Noro's debut solo album delivers. A tasty mix of retro and current touches.

07/03/2016 Bill Tilford
CD Tito Puente Quatrosmall 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.

06/16/2013 Bill Tilford
CD Hector Quintana Dactilarsmall Dactilar - (Cinquillo/Colibrí) 2015

The debut album by Cuban Jazz guitarist Hector Quintana, who is equally at home with Cuban and North American Jazz styles. Nominated for a Cubadisco 2015 in the Jazz category. Special bonuses are his pianists Jorge Aragon and Alejandro Falcon, and his drummer, Yissy Garcia, whom you are guaranteed to get to know a lot better in the future.

04/10/2016 Bill Tilford
CD Qva Libre Viva-qva-libresmall Viva Qva Libre (Bis Music) Released 2011

Qva Libre is one of Cuba's best alternative bands and will especially appeal to fans of groups like Interactivo. Viva Cuba Libre is their second album, which won Cubadisco (fusion) and Cuerda Viva awards in 2011.

04/05/2014 Bill Tilford
CD Miriam Ramos Cancioncub1small La Canción Cubana - (Cinquillo/Colibri) Released 2012

This remarkable trilogy, a multiple award winner (including the Grand Prize) in Cubadisco 2013 and a Latin GRAMMY nominee the same year, spans eight decades of the Cuban songbook and illuminates the material in beautiful ways.

01/07/2014 Bill Tilford
CD Mayito Rivera Mayitoalmadesonerocover_100 Alma de sonero - (Connector Records) Released 11/06/2013

Mayito’s familiar voice is the perfect vehicle to introduce a new generation
of casino dancers to the joys of son. Highly recommended!

08/11/2013 Michelle White
CD William Roblejo William_roblejo Dreaming (Colibrí) Released 2012

This swinging album by William Roblejo is relatively unique for Cuba - a Jazz violin soloist carrying the entire recording with a variety of stylistic influences. Deservedly nominated in three categories in Cubadisco 2013.

04/05/2014 Bill Tilford
CD Rafael Rosa Rrcoverblog Rafael Rosa - Portrait

Rafael Rosa is a Puerto Rico-born, New York residing guitarist who has been making a name for himself since arriving in NYC in 2011. His debut album “Portrait” consists entirely of original material and was produced by Rosa along with legendary bassist John Benítez. His line-up of musicians includes a nucleus of Rosa, Edmar Colón, Dan Martínez, Joel Mateo and Carlos Homs with special guests John Benítez, Kenny Werner, Jean-Michel Pilc, Michael Rodríguez, Melanie Lozano, Carlos Maldonado and Milton Barreto.

04/18/2014 Ian Stewart
CD Marlow Rosado Marlowwebsmall 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.

08/11/2012 Bill Tilford
CD Marlow Rosado Salsanimal_marlowrosadosmall Salsanimal (Big Label Records) Released July 2014

Salsanimal is GRAMMY-winner Marlow Rosado's newest Salsa album. Once again, there is a distinguished supporting cast (including Mayito Rivera on one track and Larry Harlow & Richie Ray on another). Stands above so much of the industrial Salsa product that is coming out this days.

06/22/2014 Bill Tilford
CD Rumbankete Rumbanketesmall 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...

10/16/2011 Bill Tilford
CD Eduardo Sandoval Eduardosandovalsmall 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.

01/28/2016 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 Septeto Santiaguero Septsantsmall 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.

05/19/2013 Bill Tilford
CD Septeto Santiaguero Coversmall Raíz - (EGREM) Released February 2017

This latest release by Septeto Santiaguero on EGREM greatly expands its collaborative scope including some Jazz musicians, a chorus and strings on a few tracks. There is still plenty of Son autentico here as well, and it swings despite the fact that projects this massive seldom do.

01/21/2017 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/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 Sierra Maestra Sonandoyajpegsmall 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.

01/12/2012 Bill Tilford
CD Soneros All Stars Sonerosallstars_lolo-small Lolo - (Soneros Records) Released 2014.03.26

Yanesito has hit this one out of the ballpark!
‘Lolo’ is 30 minutes of scorching dance music, impossible to resist and a must have for DJs

03/25/2014 Michelle White
CD Soneros All Stars Bacalao-sm El Que Corta El Bacalao (Soneros Records) Released 25 January 2017

With "El Que Corta El Bacalao" Yanesito has set the bar high, releasing what will be one of the best albums of for Timba 2017.

01/22/2017 Michelle White
CD Omar Sosa Covereggunwebsmall 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.

03/02/2013 Bill Tilford
CD Omar Sosa Cover_senses Senses - (Ota Records) Released 2014.01.14

Omar Sosa's sixth solo piano CD is one of his most meditative, uses a concert grand piano and may also be of interest to Classical music listeners who are unfamiliar with his work.

01/11/2014 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 Adalberto Alvarez y Su Son Aarerspetosmall Respeto pa los mayores - (Bis Music) Released 2013

The style may be retro, and the lyrics may invoke tradition, but there's nothing old about the energy level. This is Adalberto's hardest-hitting album in decades. Take the energy from Son 14, augment the brass section, crank things up a couple of notches, and you're headed in the right direction.

04/30/2014 Bill Tilford
CD Yosvany Terry Todaysopinionwebsmall 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.

05/20/2013 Bill Tilford
CD Yosvany Terry Yosvanynewthronedlargesmall New Throned King - (5Passion) - Released 2014

Nominated for both a GRAMMY (Best Latin Jazz Album 2015) and a Cubadisco Jazz Cubano 2015), New Throned King is a sublime blend of Arará cantos and Jazz. This is a heady brew indeed.

04/16/2016 Bill Tilford
CD Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Cubaconvcoversmall 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.

01/04/2016 Bill Tilford
CD Tico's Mambo Drama Ticomambodrama Follow The Rhythm (Music Roots Records) - Released 2014

This recording by Tico's Mambo Drama captures the feel of both the New York Mambo craze and Cachao's early descarga period in the late 50s-early 60s. A nice mix of retro song styles.

07/02/2014 Bill Tilford
CD Tiempo Libre Tiempo_libre_cv_final_480small 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.

06/02/2012 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 Timbalive Timbalivecdsmall 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.

12/06/2011 Bill Tilford