Greetings from Havana
(Aim, 2007)

Welcome to Havana is my first exposure to Cuban music, though I have quite a bit of Latin music in my collection.

I was plenty disappointed to visit my local Cuban restaurant and hear mostly Parrot-head songs from Jimmy Buffett and reggae -- although you really haven't had a sandwich until you've had a Cuban!

Well, at least one of them was very strongly influenced by Cuba's music. Probably both. Cuban music is influenced by the traditions of both Spain and Africa. What I didn't know is, due to diaspora, very little music recorded in Cuba actually reaches the U.S. Welcome to Havana was sponsored by an Australian label.

Welcome to Havana is Cubanismo's sixth CD, with a long hiatus between it and the Best of CD issued in 2001. They've taken their act on the road and this is the culmination of six years' worth of touring and honing their musicianship.

Cubanismo has a jazzy big-band sound, which is very danceable on every number. Their lively music is a combination of Latin and African influences. The best part is, with so much live work in between these CDs, this studio album has a strong live feel with lengthy, concert-style solos and the same kind of energy you'd get if you heard the band in person.

If you want a Latin CD that will get you up and moving and bring a smile to your face, this very welcoming CD is all of that and more.

review by
Becky Kyle

11 October 2008

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