A Buena Vista: Barrio de la Habana

A Buena Vista: Barrio de la Habana

by Soneros de VerdadSoneros de Verdad


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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/28/2000
Label: Timba
UPC: 0718751587526
catalogNumber: 15875
Rank: 115910

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Soneros de Verdad   Primary Artist,Track Performer
Pío Leyva   Vocals
Rudy Calzado   Vocals
Daniel Ramos   Trumpet
Ricardo Martinez   Percussion,Bongos,Conga,Maracas,Claves,cowbell
Jesús González   Piano
Luis Arias   Vocals
Ricardo Muñoz   Bass
José A. Castañeda   Tres
Juan de Marcos González   Vocals,Tres
Manuel "Puntillita" Licea   Vocals
Manuel De La Cruz   Guitar,Vocals,Claves
Guillermo Gonzales   Piano
Pedro Pablo Gutierrez   Bass
Manuel Hernandez   Tres,Guiro
Luis Frank Arias   Vocals
Juan de Marcos   Vocals
Guillermo Gonzalez   Piano

Technical Credits

Detlef Engelhard   Producer,Executive Producer
Johannes Wohlleben   Engineer
Luis Arias   Executive Producer,Musical Director
Juan Carlos Alonso   Liner Notes,Executive Producer,translation,Compilation Research,Text
Manuel De La Cruz   Advisor
Giraldo Garcia Fernandez   Engineer
Greg Wood   translation
Luis Frank Arias   Composer

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