Ruy López-Nussa presenta La Academia -(Colibrí) 2015
This is not a revival of the music of the original Grupo Afrocuba, but fans of that group should go to the ends of the earth if necessary to find this music anyway. In many ways the sound is similar (not a big surprise since some of the same musicians are involved) , but La Academia is a step forward with deeper Afrocuban percussion fused with modern Cuban Jazz, Funk, Reggae and other music. The project is also designed to be educational for young people about percussion and rhythm in Cuban music. You probably can't buy this yet, but keep your eyes peeled. When this hits, it will turn heads. That shouldn't be too long since it was just nominated for a Cubadisco in the Jazz Cubano category.
|CD||Los Hermanos Colón Los Hermanos Colón||
This 2014 release employs all the tried and true formulas that have made New York salsa great since the beginning, proving once again that one can’t go wrong with concise arrangements and A-list musicians. Each part fits together like a well-designed piece of architecture with every detail accounted for and nothing left out of place.
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.
Sacrilegio - (Colibrí) Released 2014
Winner of 5 Cubadisco Awards (including the Grand Prize) in 2014, Sacrilegio is an extraordinary project by Ernán López-Nussa that may very well be the most ambitious blending of Jazz, Cuban and Classical music ever recorded by any artist to date.
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.
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.
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.
Sólo se vive una vez - (Planet Records) Released 2014
The songs have the simplicity of merengue with the intensity of electronica, making it tempting and easy for even the most left-footed to dance along. It will appeal to the younger crowd and fans of that illusive Tropical genre.
|Concert||Chicago Jazz Philharmonic||
Scenes From Life: Cuba!
An excellent collaboration between the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and ISA. Hopefully this will evolve into an expanded, continuous exchange between the musical communities of Chicago and Havana.
Se llama sabroso (Ocho Music Group) 2021.03.07
ENGLISH: In a guest review by Mildred Gloria Aguilar Díaz written for Radio Cadena Habana and republished here, a look at a style called Changüi con flow by Zona Franka. A tasty mixture of traditional and urban Cuban music.
|07/25/2021||Mildred Gloria Aguilar Diáz|
|CD||David Calzado & Charanga Habanera||
Se Sufre Pero Se Goza - (EGREM) Released 2013.11.09
Charanga Habanera returns with a rousing Timba album that should appeal to its original fan base.
Self Portrait (Mavo Records) - Released June 2014
Manuel Valera's formidable range of musical influences, his uncanny sense of swing in any meter and the emotional depth of his compositions combine to make Self Portrait full of a sense of wonder that listeners who enjoy any form of advanced music will find irresistible. This is every bit as distinctive among solo piano recordings as the New Cuban Express releases are among ensemble projects. This album brings more of his classical influences to light but still has plenty of Jazz.
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.
|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.
|CD||Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco||
Sin Freno - (Bis Music) Released 2013
Those of you who have been mourning the fact that the 80s and 90s are over can stop now. Sin Freno is a knock-you-flat-on-your-arse Timba recording (with one stray concession to the bachateros) that easily holds its own with anything we old-timers remember from our own versions of the "Golden Age".
|CD||Pupy & Los Que Son Son||
Sin Líimite - (EGREM) Released 2013
Sin Límite, his latest release on EGREM, is one of Pupy's most innovative albums, full of stylistic twists and turns that you wouldn't normally expect in a recording that still contains some great timba.
|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.
Sobreviviente (EGREM) Released 3 March 2017
“Sobreviviente” is quintessential Buena Fe – brains and beauty. Winner of the Grand Prize at Cubadisco 2017 as well as Best Fusion Album, this CD is highly recommended for fans of intelligent, beautiful music.
|CD||David Álvarez y Juego de Manos||
Somos Cuba - (EGREM) Released 2014
Like the group's name, this album is deceptively basic. A good solid dance album, but while you think you are dancing guaguancó, for example, it sneaks up on you with Vallenato stylings and other odds and ends. Which won't stop you from dancing. This was nominated for a Cubadisco 2015 in the Música Popular Bailable -Maestros category.
Former NG La Banda vocalist Gerardo Contino brings his band of A-list musicians into the studio to create his first solo album. The result is an explosive Timba paragon with state of the art instrumental work throughout.
|CD||César López & Habana Ensemble||
Sonajero - (EGREM) released 2015
This new album by César López & Habana Ensemble is one of their best yet, and César, an alumnus of a later edition of Irakere, is putting out work that deserves a similar level of attention.
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.
Soy (EGREM) 2015
"Soy" is a great introductory album if you want to introduce new fans to some of Buena Fe's biggest hits but the three new songs also give the long term fans something new.
|CD||Papo Vazquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours||
Spirit Warrior - (Picaro Records) Released 2015
Trombonist/Composer/Bandleader Papo Vazquez has been experimenting with Bomba Jazz, which incorporates Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena with Hard Bop, since the 1980s. The mature results are VERY impressive.
Te doy una canción - (Colibrí) - Released 2013
This 3-CD set, which includes a short video documentary in one CD, is a Special Prize winner in Cubadisco 2014 and is a collection of Silvio Rodríguez compositions interpreted in various instrumental settings by Augusto Enríquez. More musically diverse than this writer was expecting when he first opened the package, and put together quite well.
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||Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra||
The Offense of the Drum (Motema) - Released May 2014
If one had to pick one album that captures the diversity of Latin Jazz in a way that will make you want to explore all of it, this would be it. A singular achievement.
Third Annual Festival Cubano in Chicago Illinois August 4-5 2012
The third edition of Chicago's new Cuban cultural festival shows continued progress and improvement, and there are opportunities for even more.
|CD/DVD||Manolin El Medico de la Salsa||
Tiene Que Ser Manolin - (Xplosion Entertainment) Released 2012
Manolin does a little bit of everything here, and different tracks may appeal to different listeners.
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.
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||Orlando Valle "Maraca"||
Todo o Nada - (Independent) Released 2013
Maraca got the need to do dance material out of his system with another recording released at roughly the same time, "¡Suspendan Los Comentarios!". "Todo o Nada" is as seriously focused on Jazz (including some straight ahead as well as Latin) as the other recording is on dance music.
Todos Estrellas del Jazz Cubano - (Cinquillo/Colibri) Released 2013
If you think you know everything there is to know about Pablo Menéndez from his past recordings with Mezcla, think again - this intense Jazz DVD not only shows sides of him that you may not know, but it will radically change your perceptions of the current Jazz scene in Cuba as well.
Tonadas Campesinas - (Colibrí) - Released 2013
This imprerssive three-volume set of field recordings of tonadas, a form of campesino music, includes a video documentary and extensive musicological notes. It was awarded the Cubadisco for Folkloric Campesino Music in 2014 and was also nominated in multiple other categories.
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
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.
Tremendo Delirio - (Inspector de la Salsa) - Released 1997
By 1997, the Timba scene in Havana had reached the flash point. The innovations of NG La Banda and Charanga Habanera had been embraced and assimilated by a new generation of musicians and an exciting array of new groups had emerged... In the heady days of 1997, Timba was surging forward with dizzying momentum, and in the eye of that storm, in an atmosphere of tremendo delirio, the original Charanga Habanera released their eagerly-anticipated fourth album. Neither they nor anyone else would have dreamed that it would also be their last.
Tribute to Irakere [Live in Marciac] (Jazz Village) - Released 2015
This may not be exactly what many of us would have imagined for an Irakere anniversary tribute, but who would have imagined the original once upon a time? Faithful to the spirit and as riveting as the original. If Irakere had still existed today as a regular band, it might very well have sounded like this. New generations of virtuosos are at work here.
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.
|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.