For anyone looking to take his record collection or knowledge of Cuban folkloric music past the compilation level, los Compadres have the next step. Asi Es el Son, as the name implies, offers an authoritative perspective on the island's pop music of the '30s and '40s. Having performed with some of the style's luminary voices, including Maria Teresa Vera and Miguel Matamoros before forming the duo that is heard here, cousins Lorenzo Hierrezuelo and Francisco Repilado had already established themselves as solid, accomplished sidemen before venturing out to form los Compadres, which would become the premier group in the genre. Repilado's skillful, expressive playing of the tres is inspirational and challenging, even to the modern masters of the instrument. Hierrezuelo is a master soneo, with careful and intimate interpretation of each melody. The two vocalists have an impressive ability to blend and harmonize. Their timbre complements one another beautifully. The quality of the recording is a surprising treat, as very few recordings from the mid-'50s are as clear and rich. Every stroke of the bongo and delicately picked melody from the guitar rings clear and clean. With a great mix of sones, trovas, and other popular styles of the day, Asi Es el Son is the most pleasant, enjoyable history lesson ever taken.
AllMusic Review by Evan C. Gutierrez