Fiery Mezcla

Pablo Menendez & Mezcla

I’ll See You in Cuba (Zoho ZM201001, 2010)

Mezcla, one of the leading Cuban contemporary jazz bands is back with an album titled I’ll See you in Cuba. Led by guitarist Pablo Menéndez, Mezcla is a fusion powerhouse. Mezcla means mix and I’ll See you in Cuba provides a wide selection of genres, including Afro-Cuban jazz, cutting edge fusion, electric blues, edgy bolero, and straight ahead jazz.

The strongest material are the original pieces by its band members, multi-instrumentalist Orlando Sánchez (saxophone and piano) and the young and talented trumpeter Mayquel González.

The crew featured in the recording includes Pablo Menéndez : guitar & vocals, director; Magela Herrera: flute, vocals, piano (on El Médico, ‘Round Midnight, C.U.B.A.); Octavio Rodríguez: percussion; Máyquel González: trumpet, flugelhorn; Orlando Sánchez: tenor sax (all solos) and piano (on Big Brecker, Oslo, Chucho’s Blues, Chicoy’s Blues); Néstor Rodríguez : tenor sax (on Afro Cuba & Medico de los Pianos); Ruy Adrián López-Nussa: drums ( on Big Brecker; El Medico; Oslo) ; Oliver Valdés: drums (on Chicoy’s Blues; Chucho’s Blues); Renier Mendoza: drums (on Afro-Cuba; ‘Round Midnight, C.U.B.A.; Afro Cuba); Ernesto Hermida: bass (on Big Brecker; Chicoy’s Blues, Chucho’s Blues; El Médico; ¿Quien tiene?); José Hermida: bass (on Oslo; Afro-Cuba; ‘Round Midnight; C.U.B.A.)

For those who think Cuban music fits in a cigar box, who have Buena Vista vision, or a Ricky Ricardo fixation, for those who think that Cuban music is only Salsa, Timba, Mambo or Afro folkloric: this recording will challenge, rock, annoy you or all three,” says renowned pianist and jazz educator Arturo O’Farrill. “Either way you will be surprised by the incredible fluidity with which these musicians float between genres and worlds.”

On I’ll See You in Cuba , Pablo Menendez & Mezcla demonstrate their talent as fiery composers and improvisers, creating some of the finest musical alchemy coming from Cuba.

Buy the Mezcla albums: I’ll See You in Cuba, Cantos, Akimba!, Fronteras de Sueño

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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