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Bach In Havana

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Album Review

Good music has long been adaptable into styles that the composer would have never envisioned. The Cuban group Tiempo Libre takes the Baroque music of Johann Sebastian Bach and transforms it by blending elements of various Cuban styles and vocals into a unique blend. "Tu Conga Bach" is adapted from "Fugue in C Minor" and transformed into an energetic street party that could get everyone on their feet. The musicianship is tight throughout the session, with the addition of two guests. The masterful Paquito D'Rivera plays alto sax in the warm rendition of "Air on a G String," recast as a soft bolero and retaining its romantic quality, switching to clarinet for the infectious "Baqueto con Bajo" (inspired by the "Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major"). Yosvanny Terry, a rising star in Cuban jazz, appears on alto sax in the driving rendition of "Minuet in G." The only thing that may disappoint some listeners is the presence of a synthesizer, which stays mostly in the background but remains an unsatisfactory substitute for acoustic piano.


Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '00s

Though the group may be Miami-based, the members of timba band Tiempo Libre are all Cuban-born, -bred, and -inspired. Founded in 2001 by pianist Jorge Gomez as the first authentic Cuban timba band in the U.S., the ensemble self-released their debut album, Timbiando, a selection of covers recorded in a friend's garage, in 2004. In 2005 the band signed to Shanachie Entertainment, issuing Arroz con Mango (which in Cuban slang means "something completely out of the ordinary") the same year. In 2006,...
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Bach In Havana, Tiempo Libre
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