Monthly Archives: May 2013

31.05.13 : Adalberto Alvarez y Su Son – Y Que Tu Quieres Que Te Den

Good day my friends!

If I had to choose one favorite Salsa artist, or even one favorite Cuban salsa or Timba artist, it would be very difficult for me… there are so many great and wonderful ones I can just listen to for hours without end, enjoying every moment… but one thing is for sure – one of these artists would be el caballero del son – Adalberto Alvarez.

If you want to get to know more about the artist, refer to my previous post on Adalberto:

So today, I present you an Afro Cuban Timba song, which is also a title of a whole album – y que tu quieres que te den.
This is a song about Los Orishas, the gods (or divine spirits) of the Yoruba, one of the African tribes from which many black Cubans have their heritage stemming from.
There is a while pantheon of these deities, and a rich mythology as well, but most importantly for us, a whole musical and dance culture behind each and every spirit, which has a lot of influence upon Cuban music.

So, here it is, a fine, colorful clip, which tells about the Orishas in quite great detail.
Also, this 11 and a half minute song is quit a fun challenge for all of you dancers out there 🙂


24.05.13 : Adalberto Alvarez y Su Son – La Cuenta y La Rueda

Good day folks!
Today I present you a song from the new album of the great Adalberto Alvarez.

If you want to get to know that artist more, refer to my previous post on Adalberto:

The new album, “Respeto Pa’ Los Mayores” is a masterpiece, just like all of his other albums.
Adalberto’s music is unique – it combines Cuban Son with modern influences to create a very variable set of Timba tracks, using Son, Rumba, and many other rhythms such as mambo, cha cha, cumbia, and many more.

The album itself is quite interesting; it got a self cover – a new, longer, more hard hitting, version of “Somos Latinos”; the romantic “Nadie Te Va Querer Como Yo”; the folkloric “Los Caminos Del Ifa”; Preparate Pa’ Lo Que Traigo” has a collection of Cuban stars working together; “Con Un Amor Se Borra Otro Amor” is a slow Son Montuno, which is a cover of Arsenio Rodriguez…

Thus, as always, Adalberto delivers an interesting mix of great songs from several genres, tempos and feelings, creating the masterpiece of this album.

“La Cuenta y La Rueda” can be described as a typical Adalberto piece, being a modern, energetic Son composition, which is still true to its origins.


17.05.13 : Soneros All Stars – Besos De Miel

Good evening folks!
Today I present you a band which is more of a project than really a band…
Soneros Allstars is all about bringing together great Cuban musician, playing a wide spectrum of Cuban rhythms.

The record company was established in Sweden, in 2001, by Swedish musician Jan Miklas, who will later be known as “Yanesito”, that name being referred to in some of the songs recorded by the company.

Jan, a jazz musician by education, mastered Cuban and Brazilian percussion in the early 90’s, falling in love with Cuban music in the process.
In 1996 Jan traveled to Cuba for the 1st time, wanting to further his knowledge of percussion, but instead fell in love with the Tres guitar, which he studied with members of Orquesta Reve.
In 1998 Yanesito went on to join the band named “Swedish Soneros”, which played mainly traditional Cuban music, but had a few salsa numbers as well, thus becoming very popular among the salsa going people in Sweden.
A few years later the band split up, with various members getting busy with individual projects; this was Yanesito’s perfect chance to realize his dream of starting a label which will be all about Cuban music.

The 1st project that Yanesito Curetted yielded the 1st album of the Soneros Allstars, “Mariano”, which featured the talented Maria Cristina Azcuy, and musicians Yanesito was familiar with from his jam sessions in Havana bars, clubs, and other hangouts.
The album mainly included traditional Cuban standards of Son, Danzon and Bolero, but gave Yanesito the taste of recording in Havana.
The 2nd album, “Dime Nague”, is considered by many to be the truly 2st album of the band \ project, as it was the 2st one to include musicians from the primera linea bands, this time mainly from Orquesta Reve, giving the album an overall feeling of Changui, in memory of Elio Reve sr. ; there’s even a track on the album dedicated to Elio, called “pa’ ti, papa”.
The album was released in 2004, and immediately became a best seller all over the world.

By the end of the “Dime Nague” project, Yanesito was already thinking of the next one; this time around, he would get no other but Cesar “pupy” Pedroso, one of the best pianists in the world, and a lifelong musical innovator, to record with him.

The CD was called “La Timba Soy Yo”, featured Pupy and many of his band members, and as the name states, was heavily in the realm of hard hitting, contemporary Timba.
The song I present you here today is a part of the “La Timba Soy Yo” album, and is called “Besos De Miel”; it is a mix of traditional Son and contemporary Timba, and despite it being fairly short at 03:46, it’s definitely a hit.

10.05.13 : Manolito y Su Trabuco – La Cosita

Good evening folks!

Last week, when talking about las Maravillas de Florida, we mentioned their once band leader, Manolito Simonet, who brought the band to the top of the charts in the 1980’s.

Continuing that line, I would like to present you today with a song from the latest album of Manolito’s band, Manolito y Su Trabuco, “Sin Freno”, which came out a few weeks ago.

If you want to read about Manolito Simonet and his fine band, check out this post from January:

If you ask me, this album is all about exploration & experimentation for Manolito and his band; the album is mostly on a more relaxed wave, but has some quite energetic tunes as well; it is mostly Timba, but ventures to the realm of Reggaeton (“Farandulero”), Bachata (“Esta Noche Te Quedas Conmigo”) and some fusion of Timba with Merengue and Cumbia (“Cuentale”) .
“La Cuenta No Da” is also notable for being a bit strange and enigmatic, somewhere on the verge between Timba and Reggaeton.

All in all, the album is quite solid, and you can definitely hear songs from this album in the playlist of any salsa DJ who respect themselves and their listeners.

The song I present you here, “La Cosita”, is my definite favorite from the album.


03.05.13 : Maravilla De Frolida – No Puedo Mas

Hi there all.
We had labor day this week, so happy holiday to all workers!

The band I present here today is one of the oldest ones still active, and one of the most important to the history of Cuban music.

Maravilla De Florida was founded in a small town named Florida, in the Camaguey province of Cuba, at 1948.
It was a typical charanga band of its time, playing mainly cha cha, bolero, son and charanga music, the genres popular at the time.During the 60’s and early 70’s los Maravillas developed their own sound, which was something typical for major Cuban bands in this era of experimentation; while Van Van had musical inspiration from rock’n’roll, Reve incorporated Changui, and Irakere built up a mix of son montuno and jazz, los Maravillas kept their accent much on the harmonic part, renovating the traditional charanga sound with new ideas and instrumentation

As it just happens to happen many times, a great leap forward occurs when a grand persona enters the ring – in the case of los maravillas, it was the brilliant pianist, composer, arranger and songwriter Manolito Simonet.
When Manolito took leadership, los Maravillas rose higher at the charts then ever before, topping them for many weeks at a time.
Although always leading the way, the decade of 1983-1993 was definitely the band’s most successful.

In 1993 Manolito left to form a band of his own, Manolito y Su Trabuco, taking almost half of the Maravillas with him.
This was a harsh blow for the band, and it took another decade to recover from it.
Several CDs were released during that time, including a 50 year anniversary CD named “50 y mas”, but the band wasn’t noticed much during these years of the Timba revolution.

But it seems that old heroes never go away… in 2005 los Maravillas made a big comeback with the release of “Yo Te Doy La Clave”, also named “Luchando Con Fe”, although the later is a whole different album released 2 years later, in 2007, being recognized as one of the best albums of that year.
Nowadays los Maravillas mainly do concert tours allover the world, releasing singles once in a while.

The song I present you here today, No Puedo Mas, is a new hit the band released a few weeks ago; it both conserves their traditional charanga style, with all the flutes and violins, but has many modern Timba elements as well.
And some ironic trivia – there is a special guest on this track; Ricardo Amaray, who’s the lead singer of Manolito Y Su Trabuco… after 30 years, history came a full circle.