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The Cuban Music Store
  A Lo Cubano
Orishas

While North American rap drowns in its own clichés, international artists are invigorating the genre with their own musical traditions. The Orishas, a Cuban group based in France, use Afro-Cuban religion to summon the spirit of hip-hop. Named for gods of Santeria, they came together in 1998 when members Yotuel and Ruzzo hooked up with Roldan and Flaco-Pro (a veteran of Sergeant Garcia) through a cultural exchange program between French and Cuban rappers. Collaborating with French hip-hop producer Miko Niko, they bring the attitude of Havana streets to the rest of the world, appealing to the Buena Vista Social Club crowd as well as the hip-hop heads. On their debut, A lo Cubano, the song "537 C.U.B.A." (their remake of Compay Segundo's "Chan Chan") gives new meaning to the term "old school." And the sound of sacred Santeria beats and traditional son weaving through sharp-edged lyrical attacks with groove-heavy bass and drum tracks on tunes like "Represent," "Atención," and "Atrevido" make for a cool joyride through the back streets of Havana

Excerpt taken from Amazon.com´s Editorial Review.
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  Bossa Cubana
Los Zafiros

"Cuban doo-wop" is good shorthand for the sound of this enormously appealing quintet. But Bossa Cubana, an exhumation of 17 tracks by '60s stars Los Zafiros, is even more unpredictable than that phrase would leave you to believe. The music here carries echoes of everything from Beny More (sans horn section) to Little Anthony and the Imperials, while often sounding like a secret influence on Chris Isaak. Los Zafiros are at their most affecting when wailing and harmonizing over slow-dance tempos; listen to their Spanish translation of "My Prayer" ("Mi Oracion"), and you'll never hear the Platters quite the same way again.
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Buena Vista Social Club
Ry Cooder, Buena Vista Social Club

Ry Cooder's name has helped bring attention to this session, but it's the veteran Cuban son musicians who make this album really special. Reminiscent of Ellington in its scope and sense of hushed romanticism, Buena Vista Social Club is that rare meld of quietude and intensity; while the players sound laid-back, they're putting forth very alive music, a reminder that aging doesn't mean taking to bed. Barbarito Torres's laoud solo on "El Cuarto de Tula" is both more blinding and more tasteful than any guitar showcase on any recent rock album; a quote from "Stormy Weather" and some very distinct parallels to Hawaiian styles remind us of why it's called "world music." --Rickey Wright

Excerpt taken from Amazon.com´s Editorial Review.
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  Lo Mejor de la Vida
Compay Segundo

The 94-year-old Cuban guitarist and singer introduced to much of the world on Ry Cooder's Buena Vista Social Club, is back with his own album. While Segundo uses his own group here, the disc has the same combination of delicate acoustic guitars, complex Afrocaribbean rhythms, and relaxed, impromptu feel as Buena Vista. Segundo has chosen songs from his first heyday in the 1920s and 1930s, and perfectly captures their classic flavor without making them sound like museum pieces. While less varied than the all-star Cooder project, the album has lead vocals by several legendary Cuban singers, occasional, understated horns, and surprisingly appropriate guest shots by the revolutionary bard Silvio Rodriguez and flamenco guitarist Raimundo Amador. Segundo lets the guests shine, but it is his harmonies and deft guitar work that holds the disc together, and his flawless musicianship thoroughly justifies this more expansive showcase. --Elijah Wald

Excerpt taken from Amazon.com´s Editorial Review.
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  Cuarteto Patria
Eliades Ochoa, Compay Segundo

Cuban-Born Vocalist and Guitarist Eliades Ochoa Has a Long History in Cuba for Having Played with So Many Groups. Recently Thrust Into the Global Spotlight by his Participation on 'Buena Vista Social Club', his Prominence Has Grown Immensely.

Excerpt taken from Amazon.com´s Editorial Review.
 
  Feliz Cumpleanos a Compay Segundo
Compay Segundo

Who could argue with the assertion that Compay Segundo is a Cuban treasure: one of the most original composers and performers to ever come from the island. His "son" and "bolero-son" style songs are Cuban classics that are also able to tug firmly on American listeners' ears, begging them to come bask in the beauty of his laid-back guitar style and his fantastic low vocal harmonies. Herein lie both the allure and the turnoff of this tribute album: they are Compay songs without the flavor that Compay's performances impart to them. The performers (Company Segundo) do an admirable job of playing the Compay classics, however the performances lack that spark, the life that Compay breathes into his compositions. The renditions are fairly standard, lacking any notable originality that might warrant the elusive fifth star. Painfully absent are Compay's vocal harmonies, his rhythmic strumming above the nut of his armonico (the custom hybrid instrument he created) and his adept guitar playing that make his albums such a joy to listen to.

Amazon Customers Review: Ross Dunkel from Rhode Island, USA
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  Los Dias de Gloria
Pablo Milanes

Pablo "the best male cuban voice alive", June 17, 2000
Reviewer: jatibonico from Canada and Cuba
Listening to this album one cannot resist calling him the best male Cuban voice alive. Pablo sounds great doing boleros, son, montuno or whatever he decides to sing. This is a very mature and lovely album that will surely make your heart beat faster.
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  Mariposas
Silvio Rodriguez

This CD has several yet unedited songs. It has a great sound and wonderful lyrics typical of Silvio´s poetry.
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