Format: Compact Disc
Released Date: February 21, 2005
Number of Discs: 0
Label Name: Connector
This is an enhanced audio CD which contains regular audio tracks
and multimedia computer files.
Soneros De Verdad: Pio Leyva, Manuel "Puntillita" Licea, Luis
Frank, Rudy Calzado (vocals); Manuel De La Cruz (guitar); Manuel
Hernandez (tres); Daniel De Jesus Ramos Alayo (trumpet); Guillermo
"Rubalcaba" Gonzales (piano); Ricardo Quevedo (bass); Ricardo
Martinez (bongos, congas, percussion).
Additional personnel includes: Anja Korthals (vocals); Jose Armedio
Castaneda (tres); Policarpo "Polo" Tamayo (flute); Ricardo Munoz
(bass); Patricio Matienzo, Yulien Oviedo Sanchez
Recorded at Estudio Abdala, Havana, Cuba. Includes liner notes by
Juan Carlos Alonso.
This album might have been made to jump on the Buena Vista Social
Club bandwagon, but it's one of those rare imitations that takes on
a life of its own. Singer Luis Frank, the mastermind behind it, is
a young vocalist with a big voice and a love of the older music.
And though, for the most part, these aren't old songs, but new ones
dressed up in their father's clothing, they're beautifully
presented and played, a trip through the culture of son, guajira,
bolero, and trova. In addition to Frank, who takes lead on most of
the songs, the spotlight falls on veteran singer Pio Leyva and tres
virtuoso Juan de Marcos. But others do get their moment in the
Cuban son -- pianist Guillermo "Rubalcaba" Gonzalez unleashes a
solo of truly stunning inventive genius on "Oguere," for example.
And it's music that can work well without the backing of a full
band, too; "Longina" is a gorgeous duet between Frank and de Marcos
that works as much because of the interplay between voices as the
playing. Ultimately, however, it's about the songs, and, whether
new or old, they work. The vast majority of listeners won't know
the difference between something written yesterday and a classic,
and, really, it doesn't matter. The presentation and feel seem
real, and the musicians invest everything with an authenticity that
shows a love of and familiarity with the older styles and
arrangements, like the muted trumpet of Daniel Alayoand the
weathered, cracked vocal of Rudy Calzado on his bolero "La Mas
Bella Cancion." And ending it all with more bravura playing from
Gonzales is a master stroke, allowing his individuality another
chance to shine, and shows him to be a true giant of the keyboard.
But it's typical of an album that breaks all the rules of
exploitation to become a work of art in its own right. ~ Chris