Sons of Buena Vista

It all began with Wim Wenders’ "Musica Cubana".  The movie, which was released in 2004 and screened in eighteen countries, tells the tale of a young Cuban band which rose to global stardom.  And now what was fiction in the film seems to be happening for real.  Under the name of The Sons of Buena Vista, the artists from "Musica Cubana" are really setting out to conquer the world.  Their sequel is called "Con un poco de ayuda" and it contains excellent up-to-the-minute Latin music which should soon delight listeners everywhere.

The Buena Vista Social Club was yesterday: now instead of the old men it is the turn of children and grandchildren to have their say.  On tracks like the son classic "Chan Chan" by Compay Segundo and "Los herederos" ("The Heirs”), the next generation builds on the foundations of the tradition with an up-to-the-minute sound which expresses the joie de vivre of Cuban young people today.

Telmary Diaz, Cuba’s leading female rapper, demonstrates in "Merengue pilon" that she really has her ear to the ground.  Her fashionably styled fellow musician Mario Mayito Rivera (Los Van Van), whom a journalist once aptly called "the Mick Jagger of Cuba” demonstrates his outstanding vocal skills on the Latin pop track "Y sigo buscando". Luis Frank (Soneros de Verdad) comes across as a wonderful crooner on his moving piano ballad "Suave murmullo". And Osdalgia Lesmes, whose solo debut "La Culebra" won the prized Cubadisco, melts soulfully through the wonderful slow song "Longina"

Grammy winner El Nene is in the limelight on a number of songs.  He sings "Marieta" with full enthusiasm, with overwhelming passion in his voice.  In "Fiebre de ti" he sings with equal devotion of a fever raging in him; in the catchy tune "Lagrimas de amor" he sheds hot tears of love, and finally he uses "Feliz recuerdo" to bask in happy memories.

The youngest participants include Arlenys Rodriguez Lazo and Annalays Serrano Lazo, who together form the Chiki Chaka Girls.  Arlenys sings on "Cabildo" with wonderful freshness and confidence whilst Annalays bewitches us in the catchy "Saboreando" with her delightful girlish charm. The sisters, barely over twenty, are a real discovery with star qualities.  

On "Con un poco de ayuda" all these soloists were supported by outstanding instrumentalists.  Roberto Carcasses, Cesar Pupy Pedroso, Samuel Formell (son of the legendary Juan Formell), Feliciano Arango (N.G. La Banda), Julio Padron, Elmer Ferrer and David Suarez all met in the studio.  Alongside these top cracks a number of veterans of the old son guard could not resist contributing (hence the album title "With a Little Help”).  Besides Raul Plana, Tata Güines, Generoso Jimenez and Changuito (= Jose Luis Quintana) we should mention Pio Leiva (Buena Vista Social Club).  On this CD, the musical Methuselah bids farewell to his fans.  Shortly before he died at the grand age of eighty-eight he handed on the torch to his younger colleagues, on "Con un poco de ayuda" so that the flame of Cuban music can continue to burn brightly in the future.