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New York based dance band Ochun (named for the goddess of love in Cuban folkore) released this record, their 2005 self-titled debut after years on the New York club circuit. Straight, uncut son seems to be the order of the day for so many groups performing Cuban music both Stateside and on the Continent, and Ochun is no exception. With danzon, guajira and mambo as thier home base, Ochun has a strong nostalgic element. The emotive, romantic, crooning sonero and rustic tresero own the disc. It is difficult to hear a disc like this one and not ask the question; why are there so many contemporary groups playing and recording music exactly as it would have appeared fifty years ago? Is there any other genre in which artists are so owned by their past? How many times are we going to record "El Cuarto de Tula?" Though Ochún is masterfully played and produced with warm, present sound, there are many options for the listening audience to indulge their love for Cuba's yesteryear. Ochun's players are by and large Cuban, and without exception top-drawer musically. Though this record could be seen as symptomatic of a genre that is chasing its tail, the musical merits are undeniable.

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