Various Artists

Cuba, Isla de la Musica

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Cuba, Isla de la Musica is a beautiful compilation from Spain of moving, diverse tracks that crisscross genres and eras. These 12 tracks come from both well-known and only-for-the-connoisseur talent, but it doesn't change the fact that what is here is deeply moving, sublime music. Grupo Sierra Maestra and Trio Matamoros are here as are Beny Moré and Maria Teresa with Lorenzo Hierrezuelo and Abelardo Beloso. But there are more obscure (to these gringo ears) artists as well, who nonetheless offer the entire range of son, meringue, early salsa, cha cha music, and more. The lack of liner notes is a drag because it would have been nice to see where everyone here plays in the lineage and pantheon of traditional Cuban music. And though that is a significant complaint, it doesn't change the quality of what is here. The Internet would no doubt answer most of these questions.

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