Caravana Cubana

Del Alma

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Much like its venerated predecessor, Caravana Cubana's Del Alma features a grand cast including some of Cuban music's lesser gods. Feathers in the album's cap include mighty conguero Francisco Aguabella, vocal group Bamboleo featuring Yordamis Bergret, and salsa superpower Orlando "Maraca" Valle, among others. Having lost a bit of star power after the group's debut project, the group's more natural state is exposed. In reality, many of these "supergroup" projects are fueled by the genius and hard work of below-the-radar artists like la Caravana's executive producer/author, George Hernandez, with celebrity guest spots providing the bright lights and red carpets. Del Alma is the music of the non-celebrity dozen or so musicians whose names will not be printed on the front cover. As the title implies, the impact of the record is aimed at gut level, meant to communicate with the listener from soul to soul. Performing mambo, son, rumba, guaguancó, and changui, all with equal levels of grace and style, la Caravana is a group that deserves respect and admiration, A-listers or not. Though the record's luminaries shine brightly, it is in an already dazzlingly bright, clear midnight sky. Del Alma is a fantastic album and best appreciated not as a bullet list of Cuban greats, but as the work of an original collaborative voice, Caravana Cubana.

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