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Tiempo Libre

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Tiempo Libre:  Bach In Havana

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Monday, May 11, 2009

by Peter Watrous

Bach In Havana
CD (Sony 44701), Released 2009;
Editor's Pick:
Wow, this is a strange project on all sorts of levels. The band, a Cuban timba band based in Florida, is recording for Sony Classical, which has tried a few crossover projects, but hardly anything suggesting that they’d get down in bed with timba. But this timba’s rife with Bach, which makes sense given the musical crossbreeding on the island, the mixture of the African vernacular you hear everywhere on the streets and the rigorous Eastern European training the musicians get in the music academies on the island. That’s all theory; does this work? Yes, it’s pretty great, with the first tune mixing a conga rhythm with Fugue in C Minor. There’s plenty of improvising; Jorge Gomez, the group’s leader and pianist, can play; Paquito D’Rivera and Yosvany Terry show up to play saxophone. It’s impressive, this stuff.
Highly Recommended. (Peter Watrous, 2009-05-11)

Song titles include:
Tu Conga Bach
Fuga
Air On A G String
Clave In C Minor
Gavotte
Mi Orisha
Minuet In G
Olas De Yemayá
Baqueteo Con Bajo
Timbach
Kyrie
Musicians include:
Jorge Gómez Music director, arranger, keyboards, coro
Joaquín "El Kid" Díaz Lead vocals, batá
Leandro González Congas, percussion, batá, coro
Tebelino "Tony" Fonte Electric bass, chapman stick, coro
Cristobal Ferer García Trumpet, trombone, coro
Hilario Bell Percussion, timbales, batá, coro
Luis "Rosca" Beltran Castillo Tenor sax, güiro, coro


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