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Real World

X Alfonso

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Album Review

If a singer or musician records in Cuba, he/she isn't necessarily providing salsa and Afro-Cuban music. Cuba is best known for the music that came to be termed salsa (a convenient umbrella term for everything from son and cha-cha to mambo, danzón, and guaguanco), but it also has its share of Latin popsters — one of whom is X Alfonso. After making a name for himself in Cuba with the band Síntesis, the singer launched a solo career with Real World, which was recorded in Havana in October 1999. The term Latin pop can be used to describe a lot of different styles — everything from cutesy, assembly-line teen-pop to Latin adult contemporary to adventurous, cutting-edge risk-takers like Alfonso. And make no mistake: Alfonso takes risks on Real World, which finds the expressive vocalist/composer combining Latin pop with elements of funk, hip-hop, and jazz. Alfonso (whose real name is Equis Alfonso) also brings Afro-Cuban rhythms to this reflective CD, although he employs them in a very subtle fashion. A promising debut, Real World indicates that Alfonso deserves to be better known outside of Cuba.

Biography

Genre: Pop Latino

Years Active: '90s

Cuban singer/songwriter X Alfonso (a.k.a. Equis Alfonso) blends jazz, hip-hop and funk with traditional mambo and bolero rhythms. His debut album Real World was released in spring 2000 on the Velas label and also featured performances by guitarist Elmer Ferrer,...
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Real World, X Alfonso
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