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.
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.
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||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.
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.
Alma de sonero - (Connector Records) Released 11/06/2013
Mayito’s familiar voice is the perfect vehicle to introduce a new generation
Mezcla - Live in Chicago 2013.06.29
Mezcla's tours in the U.S. have been limited to a few cities, it would be
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
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.
|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.
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
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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
|CD/DVD||Maraca & His Latin Jazz All Stars||
Reencuentros - (Independent Release 2011, EGREM 2012) Initial Release 2011
This Cuban Jazz recording by Maraca and a cast of supporting all stars received critical acclaim internationally including a glowing review by Downbeat in the United States.
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.