Various Artists

La Musica Cubana [Arc]

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The box set La Musica Cubana attempts to present a history of Cuban music with three discs: Son Popular de Cuba, Cuban Classics, and Sones y Guajiras de Cuba (the first two are performed by Grupo Cimarrón de Cuba, the last by Sergio Alvarez & Amigos). While the cardboard packaging displays a few vintage-looking photos of a Cuban band circa the late '50s, each of these tracks were definitely recorded in the mid-'90s at a studio in Germany run by the label. Despite the absence of vintage recordings though, these performances are done surprisingly well. Cuban novices could do far worse than examine these small group and trio recordings, led by Daniel de la Osa and Sergio Alvarez, for enjoyable up-tempo Cuban jazz.

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