|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.
|CD||Eliades Ochoa & Alma Latina||
Guajira Mas Guajira - (Tumi) Released May 2016
The renowned Eliades Ochoa teams with his sister, Maria Ochoa, and the group Alma Latina, in a pleasant blend of Cuban country music and hints of other Caribbean styles like Soca and Ska.
Trayecto - (Ahí Nama) Released 2014
This 2015 Cubadisco nominee (Música Popular Bailable, Novedades) has not been officially released yet, but it is musically quite good.
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.
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.
Mr. Many Moons - (Independent)
This independent recording, nominated for a Cubadisco award in the Jazz category, may not be released yet. We review it here for the sake of completeness. Musically, it is quite good, with most of it being Hard Bop and similar styles.
Lecuona JóJazz -(Colibrí) - 2014
This inventive Jazz treatment of some of Ernesto Lecuona's compositions was nominated for a Cubadisco award in the Jazz Cubano category in 2015. It features four past JóJazz winners on piano (JóJazz is a contest dedicated to young Jazz artists) and some excellent combos supporting them.
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.
|CD||Elito Revé y su Charangón||
La Salsa TIene Mi Son - (Bis Music) Released 2015
Winner of a Gran Premio (there were two this year) and Música Bailable - Maestros at Cubadisco 2016, this celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Charangón has La Aplanadora de Cuba at full steam. A lot of guest artists came out for this, but there are no misses here.
|CD||El Noro y Primera Clase||
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.
El Viaje - (Mack Avenue) Released 2016
The splendid new album by Harold López-Nussa is an intense blend of Afro Cuban, African and Jazz ingredients.
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.
|CD||Giraldo Piloto y Klimax||
Mis 21 Años - (Dreadlocks Music/EGREM) Released 2016
ENGLISH: Mis 21 Años, which celebrates 21 years of Klimax, is a collection of new arrangements of several great selections from different musical periods of the group. The album uses a stellar collection of guest artists, and in addition to some Klimax-caliber Timba, it includes a couple of beautiful boleros. Mis 21 Años was awarded the Premio Cubadisco in 2017 in the Música Popular Bailable - Maestros category. Mr. Piloto still believes in Timba, and it shows here.
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||Bobby Carcassés y AfroJazz||
Blues Con Montuno - (Bis Music) - Released 2017
ENGLISH: Blues Con Montuno is the latest release by master showman and Jazz artist Bobby Carcassés. It won a Premio Cubadisco in 2017 for Jazz Soloists. There is indeed some excellent Cuban Blues here, but the album features the styles of Jazz for which Bobby is renowned (some of it danceable, naturally). And, there is, of course, a lot of great scat singing.
|CD||Yissy & Bandancha||
Última Noticia (Zona Jazz 2016/EGREM 2017)
ENGLISH: Winner of the Opera Prima (best new artist) and Diseño (Design) categories in Cubadisco 2017, Última Noticia has an origin story almost as interesting as the album itself - a galvanizing mix of Jazz, Fusion, Cuban Music, Funk, NuJazz - kind of like Acid Jazz 3.0 but even better.
Sabroseando - (Unicornio/Producciones Abdala) 2017
ENGLISH: Nominated in the Traditional Popular Music (later Conjuntos & Other Formats) category in Cubadisco 2017, Sabroseando by Leyendas.com is an impressive and enjoyable collection of sones and boleros. Highly recommended for fans of the part of the music spectrum popularized by groups like Rumbavana.
Abracadabra - (OHL Music) 2016
ENGLISH: Abracadabra an audio kaleidoscope that defies easy description due to the multiple different styles performed within the recording. Expect the unexpected, but that's a good thing here. Several big names - Alaín Pérez, Kelvis Ochoa, Angel Bonne, Mayito Rivera, Malena Burke, Calixto Oviedo, Jimmy Branly and many others participate. . Nominated in the Fusion category of Cubadisco 2017.
ESPAÑOL: Abracadabra un caleidoscopio de audio que desafía la descripción fácil debido a los múltiples estilos diferentes realizados dentro de la grabación. Espere lo inesperado, pero eso es algo bueno aquí. Varios grandes nombres - Alaín Pérez, Kelvis Ochoa, Angel Bonne, Mayito Rivera, Malena Burke, Calixto Oviedo, Jimmy Branly y muchos otros participan. . Nominado en la categoría Fusion de Cubadisco 2017.
Así de Sampling - (Zig Zag/Colibrí) Released 2017
ENGLISH: Así de Sampling by Vocal Sampling is the winner of the Choral and Vocal Music category in Cubadisco 2017. Unique as always and with a wonderful sense of humor as well.
ESPAÑOL: Así de Sampling de Vocal Sampling es ganador de la categoría Música coral y vocal en Cubadisco 2017. Úinco como siempre y con un sentido de humor maravilloso también.
|CD||Alberto Lescay & FORMAS||
Escape (EGREM 2018) Released June 1, 2018
ENGLISH: Escape is the debut album of Alberto Lescay & FORMAS, a group that represents the best of the best of the NuJazz movement in Cuba. If you have been worried about the future of music in Cuba, this album is an instant cure.
Perspectiva -(Independent) - Released March 2018
ENGLISH: Perspectiva is the auspicious (and audacious) debut album by one of the winners of JoJazz 2017, Marcos Morales. Mature beyond the years of its protagonists, Perspectiva provides the listener with an excellent panorama of many current trends in Jazz in Cuba.
|CD||Dafnis Prieto Big Band||
Back to the Sunset - (Independent) - Released 2017
ENGLISH: Dafnis Prieto's new project, the Dafnis Prieto Big Band, proves that all those who keep trying to write the obituary for new, creative big band music need to throw their crayons in the trash, shut up, and listen. Big bands live, and they are still doing new and exciting things.
|CD||El Septeto Santiaguero & José Alberto "El Canario"||
A mi qué - (EGREM) - Released 2018
ENGLISH: El Septeto Santiaguero is back with another collaboration with José Alberto "El Canario" and an impressive roster of both Cuban and foreign guest artists. Traditional and innovative simultaneously.
Mama Ina - (Unicornio) - Released 2018
ENGLISH: Bassist Gastón Joya's first commercially-released solo album, a trio project with some special guests, is the winner of the Jazz Soloist category in Cubadisco 2018
|CD||Formell y Los Van Van||
Legado - (EGREM) - Released 2017
ENGLISH: Legado, the latest by Formell y Los Van Van, is an exciting combination of material from the early days of the band with current compositions. It won a Special Prize in Cubadisco 2018 and as of this writing is also a nominee for Best Tropical Latin Album in this year's GRAMMY awards.
ENGLISH: The Arango Family has been a giant force in Rumba, Cuban Jazz, Afrocuban Folklore and Timba for decades. Bendita Guanabacoa by Hermanos Arango, nominated for a Cubadisco in 2019, brings it all together In a wonderful new recording that contains genuine surprises even for well-educated ears.
Tradition and Beyond
ENGLISH: Tradition and Beyond, the new release by clarinet virtuoso and composer Ernesto Vega with some of Cuba's best young Jazz stars, is a heartfelt Jazz tribute with original compositions to some of the musicians to which Ernesto listened in his youth
ENGLISH: El Viaje is Zule Guerra's first in-studio album, her previous releases being recordings of live performances. All of the compositions are hers, and with a stellar lineup of JoJazz winners plus Ernán López-Nussa's deft touch as producer, this is a thing of beauty.
Mirando al futuro from Havana jazz
ENGLISH: Mirando al futuro from Havana Jazz is an eloquent musical defense both of the quality of Cuban jazz generally and its rightful place of honor Cuba's musical culture specifically. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the right album is worth ten thousand where music is concerned. This is one of those albums.
Jazz Young Spirit (Series) (Colibrí) 2005- ?)
ENGLISH: The Jazz Young Spirit collection, released on Colibrí beginning in 2005, is among the crown jewels of Cuban jazz releases featuring young artists early in their careers. These are often their debut recordings.
La Esquina del Jazz (EGREM) 2019
ENGLISH: La Equina del Jazz is an audio memorial by the winners of the first improvisational jazz contest organized by the iconic radio program of the same name. An interesting collaboration of contest winners and established professionals, noteworthy also for its significant amount of North American style jazz standards.
Te Lo Dije (Mack Avenue) -released 2020
ENGLISH: In Te Lo Dije, Harold López-Nussa presents a bold jazz tribute to several genres of popular music, mostly but not exclusively Cuban, including a surprising jazz treatment of reggaeton in one track.
ESPAÑOL: En Te Lo Dije, Harold López-Nussa presenta un audaz homenaje jazzistico a varios géneros de la música popular, en su mayoría pero no exclusivamente cubana, que incluye un sorprendente tratamiento jazzístico del reguetón en un track.
|CD||Joey Altruda & Francisco Fellove Valdés||
Joey Altruda Presents: El Gran Fellove
English: The last full studio album by El Gran Fellove (Francisco Fellove Valdés), recorded with Joey Altruda in Mexico City in 1999, has finally emerged from the vaulton the 100th anniversary of his birth. Unlike some projects in other genres released more for the sake of completeness than true musical merit, this one stands on its own merits.
Identidad - (Bis Music) - Released 2012
Identidad was awarded a Cubadisco in the Documentary category in 2014. The CD portion of this CD/DVD combination includes reissues of two fascinating recordings (homenajes and Travesía) by Sergio Vitier, who was one of the key members of GES (Grupo de Experimentacion Sonora del ICAIC) before it disbanded. Indeed, these recordings, while all his own compositions, are reminiscent of some of the best work of that group.
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.
Alma de sonero - (Connector Records) Released 11/06/2013
Mayito’s familiar voice is the perfect vehicle to introduce a new generation
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.
|CD||Soneros All Stars||
Lolo - (Soneros Records) Released 2014.03.26
Yanesito has hit this one out of the ballpark!
|CD||Emilio Frías "El Niño" y La Verdad||
Llegó La Verdad - (EGREM) Released September 2014
"Llegó la Verdad", the debut album by Elio Frias "El Niño" y La Verdad has proved their ability to deliver hit after hit and solidified their position as one of the top young bands in Havana.
Que no me controlen - (Ahí Namá) - Released 2014
JG's second album has has a contemporary, upbeat sound that epitomizes Cuba's youth culture. I highly recommend it for dancers and DJs. Put this on at parties and watch the dance floor fill up!