VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Cuban Classics”
Cuban Classics Mixtape is slightly misleading. We feature diverse versions of two songs, only one of which, “Guantanamera,” is really a Cuban song, the other, “Perfidia,” is actually of Mexican origin. I probably would have called this Mixtape by another name if I had realized that “Perfidia” was not Cuban. But on the other hand, this Mixtape features some of the most iconic of Cuban musicians both historically and also from the contemporary scene.
“Guantanamera” is credited to Jose Fernandez Diaz, aka Joseito Fernandez, with some controversy about whether another musician, Herminio “El Diablo” Garcia Wilson, didn’t also contribute to the development of the song. There is no doubt that the song is the best known and best loved native Cuban song and that it was first popularized by Fernandez.
The Mixtape includes several important interpretations. Two in particular stand out. The opening version is by Beny Moré, who is considered the king of popular, 20th century Cuban vocalists. The concluding version is by Celia Cruz, who has a virtual lock on the most loved and respected female Cuban vocalist. Cruz’s version is a live recording that demonstrates her power as well as her popularity with her audiences.
The other versions range from a quiet, acoustic combination of Cuban guitars and African (Mali) strings (kora) from the recent album AfroCubism to hip hop versions by Hip Hop Hoodios, Pitbull and Wyclef Jean. Most but not all of the interpretations feature Cuban artists who range in style from the traditional approach of the song’s composer Joseito Fernandez to an amazing vocal choral (you might even say Afro-Cuban doo wop) display by Vocal Sampling.
“Perfidia” was composed by Mexican musician Alberto Dominguez. There are literally hundreds of recorded versions of this song, which has also been used in numerous movies including the ever-popular classic, Casablanca.
During the mambo craze of the forties and fifties in the United States, Xavier Cugat had a big hit with an early version. I’m partial to the jazzy arrangement by Perez Prado who was nicknamed the “King of the Mambo.” My two favorite versions are by vocalist Nat King Cole and Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba.
This Cuban Classics Mixtape is guaranteed to put you in a happy mood and/or pull you out on the dance floor. Another way to put it, this is feel good music with a Latin twist.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
Cuban Classics Mixtape Playlist
01 Benny Moré en vivo - Benny Moré
02 AfroCubism - AfroCubism
03 Guantanamera & Other Cuban Favorites - Elmer Ferreira
04 Cuba: I Am Time - Joselito Fernandez
05 Richard Egües & Friends - Richard Egües
06 La Coleccion Cubana - Omara Portuondo
07 Alive Alive-O! - Jose Feliciano
08 Album De Cuba - Lucrecia
09 De lo oculto, lo popular Lissy Alvarez y su Quinteto de la Habana – Aissy Alvarez
10 Dos Cuba L.A. – Dos Cuba L.A.
11 Calle Salud - Compay Segundo
12 GUANTANAMERA Un tributo a Cuba – Miguel
13 Carne Masada - Hip Hop Hoodios
14 Armando - Pitbull
15 Carnival - Wyclef Jean
16 Cambio de Tiempo - Vocal Sampling
17 Exitos Eternos - Celia Cruz
18 The Best of Perez Prado - Perez Prado
19 Grand Exitos 2 - Nat King Cole
20 Canta Boleros en Tropicana - Pablo Milanes
21 Vozes do Brasil - joanna
22 The Legendary Okeh and Epic Recordings - Ahmad Jamal
23 Bolero Jazz - Eloisa Martin
24 Mi Sueño - Ibrahim Ferrer
25 The Latin Touch - Laura Fygi
26 L-O-V-E - Issac Delgado
27 The Spanish Remixes - Nat King Cole
28 Imagine - Gonzalo Rubalcaba
This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 at 10:58 am and is filed under Cover. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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