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Changüí en la Casa de Nora

Charangón & Elio Revé Jr

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Album Review

Perhaps the first question here is — who's Nora? She's the woman in Guantanamo at whose house the descargas, or jam sessions, of musicians take place, and a longtime haunt of Orquesta Revé. Now led by Elio Revé Jr., the son of their founder, they have largely been responsible for the transformation of the previously acoustic changui form, making into powerfully rhythmic big band music. Changui itself is the root of the Cuban musical staple known as son, and the two merge here on "Bueno, Bueno Y Qué." For the most part, however, these are straight changuis, incorporating the bata drums and timbale style pioneered by the senior Revé, with horns adding great effect to pieces like "Iyabo." There's also a great emphasis on the always-excellent vocal work, and it's perhaps only fitting that they dedicate this album to the mysterious Nora, in whose house changui — a form born in Guantanamo — progressed. Revé Jr. proves to be as adept a bandleader as his father, a more-than-capable pianist. But more than any individual, it's the band that shines, working as a whole; indeed, instrumental solos are few and far between, unlike much Cuban music. Kudos also go to Raul Frometa Noa, whose arrangements on seven of the ten tunes here emphasize the propulsive qualities of the music.

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Changüí en la Casa de Nora, Charangón
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