Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Aldo del Rio|
From the Tobacco Road of Cuba
Genres: World Music, Pop, Classical, Latin Music
Though the world's ears remain focused on Havana, it's not the only place in Cuba with music. On the basis of this compilation, the more rural, tobacco-growing region of Pinar del Rio has plenty to boast about. More rootsy... more »
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Though the world's ears remain focused on Havana, it's not the only place in Cuba with music. On the basis of this compilation, the more rural, tobacco-growing region of Pinar del Rio has plenty to boast about. More rootsy, and with a stronger African rhythmic flavor in the stew, the music is definitely more raw. That serves it well though, whether it's Aldo del Rio unleashing a bolero to just guitar accompaniment or the fabulously full sound of Orquesta Tipica Ases del Ritmo. Maybe no one here will challenge Buena Vista Social Club or its offshoots for either lushness of sound or fame, but that's not the point. This is provincial music, which typifies the area, and reflects the lives of the people making and hearing it. If you want to know what they listen to in the Cuban countryside, this is definitely the place to begin. --Chris Nickson
From the Cuban countryside...
Bruce A. Ishikawa | Marlborough, MA USA | 03/02/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pinar del Rio is a province (and the name of the provincial capital) in the tobacco growing region of far western Cuba, far removed from the famous "centers of Cuban music". But as this compilation shows, there is at least one not-so-famous center of Cuban music that deserves our attention. "From the Tobacco Road of Cuba" presents ten artists from Pinar del Rio performing 13 songs in a variety of genres: Bolero, son, guaracha, danzon, rumba... with a common characteristic holding everything together: this music is very real, immediate. Country guitars, earnest, untrained voices, and of course, the full percussion sounds we expect from Cuba. The most urban sounding band is Orquesta Cumbre with a big brassy sound, but they are definitely not as slick as their Habanero cousins. Every song on this CD evokes images of the countryside. There are a couple of old chestnuts, La Negra Tomasa (Bilongo), Como Fue; a sweet song celebrating the friendship between Finland and Cuba; and perhaps one of the most unique numbers you'll ever hear in Cuban music, "El son en Cuba no muere" by the Grupo el Organo Pinareño, in which the centerpiece is a large wooden mechanical pipe organ accompanied by human percussionists. The tunes are fed into the machine on large punched cards which trigger the valves which open and close the pipes. The thing sounds like a calliope - son goes to the circus! This CD is beautifully packaged with comprehensive liner notes that describe the music, introduce the performers and translate all the lyrics. But what really counts is the music, which is interesting, entertaining and most of all, fun! - Bruce Ishikawa"