Calixto Oviedo

La Recompensa

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AllMusic Review by

Calixto Oviedo has long been heard alongside some of the finest voices in Cuban music and Latin jazz. His credits read like a who's who list, including Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Paquito d'Rivera, and Arturo Sandoval. There are few drummers/percussionists who can claim a career of such a caliber. His first project as a bandleader, La Recompensa, recorded after departing from his native Cuba and making a home in Sweden, harkens to his son days with Adalberto Gonzalez, with whom he played until 1990. Though often categorized as a timba record, perhaps due to the personnel, many of whom are veterans of timba champions Charanga Habanera, La Recompensa presents the rhythms of yesteryear with dignity and class. The suave, tuxedoed danzon "Cristina" and traditional, savvy "Mambo Sato" will surprise listeners who came to Oviedo through his time with NG la Banda or Issac Delgado. He seems to forego funk in favor of class, and champagne over rum and cigars. Perhaps the Swedish climate has cooled his blood.

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