Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Since the release of the excellent Si Para Usted compilation put out by Waxing Deep last year, much has been written about Cuban records. You'll find some of the most detailed information in the liner notes of that CD, but for now I'll try to give everyone a short introduction.
Egrem/Areito is the only record label in Cuba and is owned and operated by the government. Needless to say, most records never made it here to the states. Because the trade embargo only effected the U.S., many of them found their way to Canada. I was lucky enough to pick up a few albums while on tour and Super Son by Juan Pablo Torres was one of them.
Juan Pablo Torres was one of the most popular musicians in Cuba. With a career spanning decades and over two dozen albums to his name, choosing what to take home with me was no easy task. I had to leave a lot behind, but this album had something special. They managed to keep their traditional roots and stretch out into some spacey shit. Listening to it now it's hard to believe the government gave the musicians so much freedom, but Castro was very supportive of the music scene and gave funding to music schools and musicians.
This first song is actually the opener to Si Para Usted (which I had forgotten until after I recorded it - doh!). If you're digging these I highly recommend picking up a copy.
Juan Pablo Torres - Son A Propulsion
Juan Pablo Torres - Super Son