Sonando Ya (Word Village, 2010)
The new album by seminal Cuban band Sierra Maestra, Sonando Ya, leaves the old Cuban songbook and focuses exclusively on new material. Sonando Ya presents a dazzling collection of new songs and vocalists, showing us that the future of Cuban roots music is guaranteed.
Sierra Maestra still includes five original members. One the band’s abilities is to find new blood that continually revitalizes the band. And Sierra Maestra also seeks young brilliant writers who compose new songs in the traditional Cuban son style, incorporating new musical elements and lyrics about love, Yoruba culture, jealousy and humor. The new writers include Erden Hernández, who has a Nueva Trova background; Angel Bonne, son of famous composer Enrique Bonne, who is an arranger and composer, formerly with the group Los Van Van; Omar Boza, the current director of the Septeto Cubanacan, a regional group in the centre of Cuba; and younger writers with a very promising future, all of whom capture the essence odf daily Cuban life.
The repertory on Sonando Ya includes renovated interpretations of traditional Cuban son, son montuno, guaracha, guaracha son, conga, changui and what the band calls fusion, with excellent vocals and masterful instrumental work on the tres, trumpet and percussion.
The current line-up of Sierra Maestra includes five of the original musicians: Carlos Puisseaux (güiro), Alberto ‘Virgilio’ Valdés (vocals, maracas), Luis Barzaga (vocals, claves), Eduardo Himely (bass) and Alex (Alejandro) Suárez (claves, cowbell); as well as new musicians: Jesús Bello (vocals, guitar), Yelfris Valdés (trumpet), Emilio Ramos (tres), and Eduardo Rico (congas, bongos, cowbell).
Sonando Ya is a remarkable return for one of Cuba’s finest bands.
Buy the album:
- In north America: Sonando Ya. Other recordings available: Son: Soul of a Nation, Tibiri Tabara, Rumbero Soy, El Swing De Cuba, Dundunbanza!, Puro Sabor Cubano
- In Europe: Sonando Ya. Other recordings available: Son – Soul of A Nation, Tibiri Tabara, Rumbero Soy
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.