La Maravilla

A 11 track son album (51m 47s) — released September 10th 2012 on APOLLO SOUND

For the first time in the UK a new generation of Cuba's talented musical diaspora have gathered together in London to record and release a Cuban son album. La Maravilla, honours the very best of original and classic Cuban son, the music considered by many to be the 'soul of Cuba' and the roots of salsa.

The band play a style known as 'son conjunto', which expands the small band format of the original style from sextet to a fuller dance band format, with the addition of a conga player and a second trumpet. Son Yambu have, however, resisted the need to add piano to their line-up, maintaining an irresistible, rootsier acoustic sound.

The Cuban musicians featured on the album are all distinguished exponents of the genre, and they're accompanied by lead vocalist Yuri Moreno, who has been compared to a young Celia Cruz. The band is also joined by singer Alfonso De Jesus Gomez, who has sung with Fania legends Lalo Rodgriguez, Larry Harlow, Adalberto Santiago and and on 2nd trumpet, Sid Gauld (whose credits include Tom Jones, Blur and Ray Charles).

With a mixture of specially commissioned original compositions (from composers in Santiago) and forgotten gems, Son Yambu maintain the pure tradition of son's Eastern-Cuban roots. The 11 tracks include a variety of tempos and rhythms making the whole CD a great listening experience and featuring songs to suite all levels of dancers. The opening track, 'Baila Con Mi Tumbao' is an up tempo son number that is guaranteed to cut it on any dance floor, as is the wonderful arrangement of the classic 'Rita La Caimana'. 'Mujer Majadera', a cumbia-son is another original composition with an irresistible groove combining Colombian cumbia, Cuban son and pilon. Meanwhile 'Co Co Mai Mai' is a wonderful arrangement of a timeless gem. It is also fitting that the Godfather of 'Son Conjunto', the legendary blind musician and composer, Arsenio Rodriguez, is represented on the CD by three of his classic son-montuno compositions; 'Cangrejo', 'No Me Llores' and 'Dundunbanza'. Other tracks such as 'Ay Papacito' will have a familiar ring to anyone with a love of Cuban and world music. The final song is beautiful bolero, a classic romantic style not heard very often in today's contemporary Cuban and salsa scenes.

Musicians featured include:

Yuriselys Moreno Soria - vocals (Santiago De Cuba)

Victor Hechavarria - trumpet (Santiago De Cuba)

Reynaldo Crespo - bass (Havana, Cuba)

Sergio Cardon Verdanez tres (Santiago De Cuba)

Manuel Alejandro Tellez - tres (Santiago De Cuba)

David Bell Vega - coro (Santiago De Cuba)

Manuel De Jesus Collazo - bongo (Santiago De Cuba)

Alfonso Borges - congas (Santiago De Cuba)

Cesar Cascaret - coro (Santiago De Cuba)

Alfonso De Jesus Gomez - vocals (Baranquila Colombia)

Sid Gauld - trumpet (London, England).

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