Escondida Records Releases Cuban Essentials Collection, Definitive Recordings From ’50s to ’90s

USA – Escondida Records is releasing a Ten Volume Series,
Cuban Essentials, that includes rare music by
Compay
Segundo
, Irakere, Benny Moré,
Chucho
Valdés
,
Rubén
González
, and
Omara
Portuondo
among
others. The series will be hitting stores from May 2005 through February 2006.
The first release is

Ibrahim Ferrer
‘s

Ay Candela
.

Bringing together the finest Cuban tracks of the past 40 years covering every
important style from bolero and son to danzón, cha-cha-chá, Trova Tradicional
and Latin jazz, Escondida Records has selected some of the highlights of Cuban
popular music. Cuban Essentials is a ten volume collection with titles
from such significant artists as Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, Chucho Valdes,
Ruben Gonzalez, Benny More, Irakere, Juan Formell y Los Van Van, Eliades Ochoa,
Compay Segundo and the diverse, best of sampler CD, Guantanamera.With their previous

Hecho en Cuba
series, Escondida unearthed rare recordings; Cuban
Essentials
goes further to mine the entire spectrum of Cuban music. “Owning
this one series of recordings will give someone a really great collection of the
best work by these critical Cuban musicians
, “says Patrick Moxey, label head
of Escondida Records. “By buying one album from each of these artists
consumers are going to get the definitive works, the best output of these
musicians over four decades. These include the key songs, the biggest hits that
have really touched people in many ways through the years. For example, ‘Chan
Chan’ by Compay Segundo is an internationally recognized classic and has been
recorded before, but Compay’s version on The Best of Compay Segundo is
extraordinary. ‘Santa Isabel de Las Lajas’ from Benny More is another key song,
as is ‘Maria Cristina’ by Eliades Ochoa y el Conjunto Patria, which is another
classic in Latin music
.”

Cuban Essentials also includes massively popular songs like Juan
Formell y Los Van Van’s provocative “El Negro No Tiene Na” and dance floor hit,
“La Titimania,” rhythmic fireworks like Irakere’s “Bacalao con Pan,” Ibrahim
Ferrer’s “Apuntate una mi Social,” luscious Cuban/jazz instrumentals from
pianist Ruben Gonzalez, seminal folk-tinged songs like Eliades Ochoa’s “El
Cuarto De Tula” and exhilarating big band tracks from The Wild Man of Rhythm, Benny More.

As with 2004’s 3-CD Hecho en Cuba series, the tracks of Cuban
Essentials
were chosen by Escondida with assistance from prominent Cuban
music historians, musicologists and journalists. After the songs were chosen
extensive remastering assured that Cuban Essentials would live up to
international standards. “I worked very closely with several experts in Cuban
music
,” Moxey explains, “who wrote the liner notes and helped us select
the songs. Track listings were painstakingly selected by Escondida and a team of
Cuban music experts with coordination and supervision by Cuban journalist
Armando Guerra. These are the best songs of these artists’ careers – the
absolute must-have Cuban tracks. I like to think of this series as the Motown of
Cuban Music
.”

Additionally, the songs have been fully remastered from the original tapes by
the same Brussels firm that remastered Hecho en Cuba. Moxey explains: “We
worked very hard to bring the recordings up to top quality fidelity levels. And
we made sure certain elements were brought out in a fuller way
.”

There is a revival of Cuban music in certain pockets of dance culture” says Moxey. “The rhythms are incredibly funky and young people are reacting
to that and feeling the richness of the recordings. We have also discussed
remixing the music with DJs for a later release, which could be very exciting.
“Cuban Essentials is a vital collection for anyone interested in Cuban music
from 1965 to 1993.” concludes Moxey
. “It is truly the best of the best.”

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