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Rumbero Soy

Sierra Maestra

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Album Review

Rumbero Soy is the sound of a band playing as if they're having the time of their lives. The joy of the French sessions for this album comes across in every note, where the passion is almost tactile. For a band with such a long reputation (they were the spawning ground for many Cuban musicians, including Cubanismo's Jesus Alemany), they sound positively youthful and energized on a tune like "Sabina Goméz," while the title track, with its electric guitar and fanfare trumpets, positively rocks — one of the most powerful tracks to come out of Cuba in recent years. But while it's hardly musically typical of the record, its spirit certainly is, like the aural smile that's "Macuterenday," with the trumpet soaring high over the melody, while the rhythm stays powerful, but subtle, in the background. The singing is consistently superb — but then again, everything is, with a vibrancy that makes it addictive. Add to that some impressively strong material, such as the wonderful, pulsing "Covo Me Gusta Maria," and you've got a winner that deserves a massive audience.

Biography

Formed: 1976 in Havana, Cuba

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Havana-based group Sierra Maestra is one of the foremost bands performing the Cuban son style, which enjoyed its height of popularity in the '20s and '30s. Though son experienced significant revival and renewed international interest thanks to the late-'90s Buena Vista Social Club phenomenon, Sierra Maestra gave the music a new lease on life as early as the late '70s. Headed by Juan d'Marcos González, the nine-piece outfit came together in 1976 for a performance at the University of Havana, the musicians'...
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Rumbero Soy, Sierra Maestra
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