Sexteto Y Septeto Habanero

Grabaciones Completas, 1925-1931

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An extraordinary four-CD set containing all but two of the 100 songs recorded by Septeto Habanero and Sexteto Habenero for Victor between 1925 and 1931, near the outset of their now 80-year history. The material is almost of a musical archeological nature, as one hears, in place of the double-bass, a marimbula on the early sides. Despite the rough condition of some of the masters, the remastering has done wonders with this material, the layers of percussion, the guitar (and cornet and trumpet on the later sides), and the vocals all coming through clearly -- here, in the days of free cultural and musical exchange between America and Cuba, lie some of the roots of what became Afro-Cuban jazz and salsa; on top of which, these sides preserved of a component of Cuba's musical heritage that might otherwise have been buried by the country's middle and upper classes for being too African. The box includes an extensively annotated and illustrated booklet, complete with personnel listings, recording information, and authorship credits, as well as a lot of history, the sole drawback of which is that it is in Spanish only, a significant and astonishing oversight given the current interest in Cuban music in the United States and Europe.

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