Reseñas

Type Artist Product Date Author
CD Julio Valdés Ifeelgoodsmall I Feel Good (Independent) - Released 2014

A new and eclectic independent recording by Julio Valdés, one of Cuba's most interesting Jazz and Fusion violinists. This will especially appeal to fans of groups like Grupo Afrocuba and Weather Report.

03/29/2015 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Sergio Vitier 908-sergio-vitier-identidadsmall 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.

08/05/2014 Bill Tillford
CD Miguel Zenón Zenónidentitiescoversmall Identities are Changeable - (Miel Music) Released 2014

No, it's not about the Dolezal case, although it is based on a diffaerent identities question, specifically how New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent identify themselves. Instead of talking heads screaming at each other though, you get some really wonderful Latin Jazz.

06/21/2015 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 Manuel Valera Ccj_1372_covers_manuel-valera-rgb In Motion (Criss Cross) - Released September 2014

In Motion, the third album by New Cuban Express, continues the forward momentum of NCX with the addition of a trumpet to half of the songs, a more acoustic feel, and all of the excitement of the first two recordings.

09/26/2014 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 Ernán López-Nussa Leksyzckiportadasmall Invención Lekszycki - (Colibrí) 2014

Winner of the Cubadisco 2015 award for Jazz Cubano (and nominated in the Recording category, an engineering award), Invención Lekszycki is a sort of panorama of the multiple roots that inform Ernán's work. Includes some unusual touches like Kelvis Ochoa singing a Jazz ballad and some Fusion elements. It works.

06/09/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Various Artists Jazz_young_spirit 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.
ESPAÑOL: La colección Jazz Young Spirit, lanzada en Colibrí a partir de 2005, se encuentra entre las joyas de la corona de los lanzamientos de jazz cubanos con artistas jóvenes al principio de sus carreras. Son a menudo sus grabaciones de debut.

06/21/2020 Bill Tilford
CD Various Artists Jazzeando_jazzeandosmall Jazzeando Jazzeando - (EGREM) released 2015

This new Jazz and Fusion compilation from EGREM includes some things that you wont find anywhere else to date, including some tracks by Harold López-Nussa's excellent project La Yuka Funk. That alone would make the recording worthwhile, but the rest of it is also excellent.

01/28/2016 Bill Tilford
CD Elito Revé y su Charangón La_aplanadora_de_cubasmall La Aplanadora de Cuba - (Bis Music) Released 2014

Another exciting Changüi released by Revé. An aplanadora is a steamroller, and this is one, in a good way, for good dancers. Drink plenty of fluids before starting to listen to this.

04/13/2015 Bill Tilford
Film Josue Joseph Laepoca2website2small La Época Part II: Lost Rhythms in Salsa (2012) Directed by Josué Joseph

Although this film has its imperfections, it is a valiant and earnest attempt to document and lament the loss of a number of distinct rhythms in the United States as a consequence of the "Salsa" marketing phenomenon.

01/16/2012 Bill Tilford
Film Josué Joseph Lepocasmall La Época, Part I - The Palladium Era (2009) Directed by Josué Joseph

This film is a cinematic ode to the Palladium Era and the Mambo Craze in New York, a time before "Salsa" and simplified dance steps and rhythms took hold in the clubs. This film is not without its flaws but raises some good conversation topics including the degree of communication between dancers and bands then vs. now.

01/09/2012 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 Various Artists Esquinasmall 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.
ESPAÑOL: La Equina del Jazz es un audio memorial de los ganadores del primer concurso de improvisación de jazz organizado por el icónico programa de radio del mismo nombre. Una interesante colaboración de ganadores del concurso y profesionales establecidos, destacable también por su gran cantidad de estándares de jazz de estilo norteamericano.

07/26/2020 William Tilford
CD Los Van Van Fantasiasmall La Fantasia (EGREM) Released December 2014

Its founder, Juan Formell, only performs (posthumously) on one track, but a resurgent Los Van Van captures the best of his spirit and comes roaring back in this new release on EGREM that is one of their best albums from any decade.

02/01/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Los Van Van Formellmaniasmall La Formell Manía (Bis Music) Released 2013

The 3 CD-set is one of the very best of the numerous Los Van Van compilations. Excellent song choices, ditto continuity, ditto production values.

03/30/2014 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro Habanatienesuson_septetoignaciopineiro__1_small La Habana Tiene Su Son - (Bis) Released 2012

This distinctive CD/DVD set includes both live and studio recordings of the Septeto, an interview with musicologist Helio Orovio and liner notes that make this both an excellent musical production and a valuable historical document. Nominated in both the Latin GRAMMY awards and Cubadisco 2013.

01/10/2014 Bill Tilford
CD Los Van Van La_maquinaria___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.

11/19/2012 Bill Tilford
CD Concha Buika Buika_lanoche__coversmall 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.

05/31/2013 Bill Tilford
CD Elito Revé y su Charangón Lasalsatienemisonsmaller 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.

07/03/2016 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
CD Alexander Abreu Havana D'Primera Vueltalmundo La vuelta al mundo (Pafata/Sello Unicornio) - Released 2015

HDP goes after new listeners here - there is still some Timba, but also a lot more Salsa Cubana that will be danceable by non-Cubans. Musically excellent, and it has a Grand Prize in Cubadisco along with the award for Música Popular Bailable - Maestros to show for it. Will it reach the new ears for which it is intended? Time will tell.

06/08/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Various Artists Lecuonajojazzsmall 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.

04/14/2016 Bill Tilford
CD Formell y Los Van Van Legadosmall 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.
ESPAÑOL: Legado, el nuevo de Formell y Los Van Van, es una combinación emocionante de material desde los primeros años del grupo con composiciones actuales. Ganó un Premio Especial en Cubadisco 2018 y en este momento es nominado a la categoríá Mejor Álbum Latino Tropical en los premios GRAMMY

10/14/2018 Bill Tilford
CD Emilio Frías "El Niño" y La Verdad Caratula-icon 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.

01/25/2015 Michelle White
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 Eliades Ochoa Ochoa__1_small Lo Mas Reciente de Eliades Ochoa - (EGREM) Released 2012

This trilogy is a great way to get a Latin GRAMMY winner and a Cubadisco (Cuba's most prestigious music awards) nominee in one package with a bonus of an additional collection of nice instrumentals.

01/09/2014 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
Film Edesio Alejandro 100sonescubanossmall Los 100 Sones Cubanos (2010) Directed by Edesio Alejandro & Rubén Consuegra

This film does not attempt to be a comprehensive history of the Son but does include some interesting historical information as well as some entertaining and sometimes unusual live performances,

04/14/2012 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Los Hermanos Arango Arangoestrellas Los Hermanos Arango Y Las Estrellas del Folklor - (Bis Music) - Released 2011

This excellent folkloric fusion project won multiple Cubadisco awards in 2012 and is one of the best projects of its kind.

05/08/2014 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Michel Herrera Madre_tierra Madre Tierra - (Colibrí) - Released 2013

This extraordinary Jazz recording would be remarkable in any country and represents the best of the youth movement in today's Cuban Jazz. It was nominated for multiple Cubadisco 2014 awards - Jazz, Audiovisual Concert, CD/DVD, Video Clip, Making of, and Liner Notes. It won the Audiovisual Concert category.

08/03/2014 Bill Tilford
CD Alfredo Chacon Magicplacecoversmall 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.

05/22/2013 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Ruly Herrera Maltiemposmall Mal Tiempo - (Colibri) Released 2015

This Cubadisco 2015 winner (Jazz and Making of) fits perfectly in the part of the musical spectrum occupied by bands like the Yellowjackets, Weather Report, the Chick Corea Electric Band and some of Herbie Hancock's work. Very electric in more ways than one.

06/08/2015 Bill Tilford
CD Gastón Joya Mamainares 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
ESPAÑOL: El primer álbum de bajista Gastón Joya lanzado en el mercardo, un proyecto en trio con invitados especiales, es ganador de la categoríá Jazz Solista en Cubadisco 2018.

10/14/2018 Bill Tilford
CD Aisar yl El Expresso de Cuba Aisar-cd-icon Música Cubana, llegó el Expresso (Bis Music) Released 24 February 2017

Winner at Cubadisco 2017 in the Contemporary Dance Music New Talents Category "Música Cubana, llegó el Expresso" is a strong debut album that succeeds in all it sets out to do, offering an unmistakably Cuban sound taking from best traditions of Cuban dance music but with a modern expression that reflects the tastes of dancers today.

02/24/2017 Michelle White
CD/DVD Various Artists Medicencubacovelarge Me dicen Cuba -(EGREM) Released 2014

You have probably already seen a piece of this due to the Havana D'Primera video clip that is all over the web, but that clip is part of a far larger, more ambitious project with a multitude of artists to be released to the general public in the months to come. This is a sneak preview of that project, which was awarded a Special Prize at Cubadisco 2014.

06/03/2014 Bill Tilford
Concert Mezcla Mezclarev2_100 Mezcla - Live in Chicago 2013.06.29

Mezcla's tours in the U.S. have been limited to a few cities, it would be
nice if the rest of the country had a chance to see them as well.

07/30/2013 Bill Tilford
DVD Chuchito Valdes Chuchitovaldes15small Mi Voz (Music Roots Records) - Released 2014

This is a nice video single filmed in Havana featuring Mercedes Cortes Alfaro singing a ballad accompanied by two of her sons, Chuchito Valdes and Roberto Fonseca.

07/03/2014 Bill Tilford
Film Various Artists Miamibohemesmall Miami Boheme: An American Musical Journey (Rolling Pin Music) Released 2014

Miami Boheme is an hour-long PBS documentary (also available on DVD) that chronicles Miami's current Latin Fusion music scene. It includes excellent concert footage and video clips by several groups including Palo! and Spam Allstars.

04/13/2014 Bill Tilford
CD/DVD Varios Artists Mirandosmall 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.
ESPAÑOL: Mirando al futuro from Havana jazz es una elocuente defensa musical tanto de la calidad del jazz cubano en general como de su legítimo lugar de honor en la cultura musical cubana específicamente. Si una imagen vale más de mil palabras, el álbum correcto vale diez mil respecta a la música. Este álbum uno de ellos.

06/15/2020 Bill Tilford