Various Artists

Edition Pierre Verger: Cuba - From Havana to Santiago

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Part of a relatively large series of albums based around themes in Pierre Verger's photography, Cuba: From Havana to Santiago is a nice compilation of sounds from the Playasound (and really the Sunset) catalogs. There are only three bands heard here, but they're rather versatile -- with pieces of salsa, son, mambo, and charanga represented. The album relies on the talents of the bands Yakare (primarily son), Union San Luisera (with a wider repertoire) and el Son Entero Cuba (largely son, but with a wide reach). Each band brings along something of their own style, based largely on the regional sounds from whence they come, and the end result is a decent compilation. The music is somewhat more traditional, or at least less modern, than much Cuban music that one might hear currently (since the explosion of the Buena Vista Social Club, for example). It might be a little less powerful as such, but it's also more innocent.

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