Contributed by: Yelanys Hernández Fusté
The aim of the album Mi deseo (My desire) (EGREM 2008), by the band Son del Nene has been to reach the son from its traditional sonority to the most contemporary one. Pedro Lugo Martínez (el Nene) achieves a fine melody, supported by one of the classical formats of the genre: the septet. But he also links this to stories that make evident a respect for the style.
“I hear all of the son: that from the East, the West and the Center. I put it all together. I add to it what is mine,” has said el Nene in the DVD that accompanies the record. The artist is a natural born son player, which is evident by his important work in the Conjunto Chapotín and in Jóvenes Clásicos del Son among other bands. That is why on Mi deseo, El Nene as well as his musicians, validate that they are part of a generation that cultivates, defends and maintains son roots alive.
These sort of themes are to be found in the album, from Opening, a sort of instrumental welcome; to Son del Nene, a tour over the years since the band was created. Throughout the album, El Nene’s peculiar and inherited vocal tones stand out.
Topics like El pirulí remind listeners of earlier times, while there are also songs that point towards personal events of the members of the group where, luck, destiny and life come together to show El sabio Salomón. Meanwhile, in other occasions, the musicians remain close to African culture, like the piece Son a Yemayá, in whose choruses they retake some phrases and songs related to this God.
In Mi deseo the composers navigate freely around son. Some of them belong to the septet: Osnel Rodríguez and César Lozada; and from other writers such as Bienvenido Julián Gutiérrez and Armando Valdespí.
But in the assumptions of the album, one can see an opening to other rhythms that do not diminish the final result of the proposal. The bolero is rightly chosen to remember that this sort of song is coming out among current creators and with the essence of old compositions.
“I wanted to include it, because it is very much liked in Cuba, and it is sometimes lost a little, it is made in the Boleros de Oro and in other festivals,” said Pedro Lugo Martínez in the presentation of the album.
Be happy, a wonderful and singular title of the young Descemer Bueno, appears among the twelve singles from this album. For el Nene, to include it means singing a true hymn to happiness, because, “Who does not want to be it?” The septet also makes us remember with El final no llegará (The end will not come), a bolero by Rafael Ortiz and Eugenio Pedraza, performed by Carlos Embale and it said: young is the one who wants it to be.
The singer also does not get away from other styles that have marked his artistic career. So there come Rumba y ajiaco by Pedro Gómez; Ya llegó la conga, by Arsenio Rodríguez; and La fiesta by César Lozada.
The album, produced and directed by Emilio Vega, is accompanied by a DVD that highlights the musical path of the band leader and contains promo videos of some of the themes from the CD.
There is also to be highlighted, the graphical design by Arnulfo and photography by Ángel Alderete, that complete that traditional, but modern environment that can be felt in the music of Mi deseo. It is a record that is already causing much debate and which could be very successful in national and international recording competitions.
Source: Author: Yelanys Hernández Fusté (Juventud Rebelde). Translation: Karen López (Cubarte)