Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura

The Search Continues

Havana Cultura: The Search Continues, a two-disc compilation of contemporary Cuban music was an impulse buy for me. I've come to admire Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Recordings label because of the sublime album he released on it by Zara McFarlane, and while I knew this wouldn't be the same brand of beautiful jazz, I thought that working under the same rules I apply to Now-Again Records (ie. buy everything on sight), I'd be happy with it.

I'm very happy with it.

Over the course of thirty tracks, Peterson introduces the non-Cuban listener to a huge array of artists recording in Cuba today.  Among the sounds and genres represented here are Latin and Afro-jazz, hip-hop, funk, reggaeton, pop, and R&B.  The first album is played by Peterson's Havana Cultura Band, but each track has different 'guest' musicians.  The second album is more of a curated look at 'The New Cuban Underground'.  The only artists whose name was familiar to me on this project were The Heavyweights Brass Band (hailing from my neck of the woods), and they are there to accompany a Cuban singer.

The over-all effect of this album reminds me of the Brazilian survey compilation Oi: A Nova Musica Brasileira, which did the same kind of thing for Brazilian artists, but this collection is more balanced and cohesive as a whole piece.  The only track on here that annoys me is 'No Me Da Mi Cana Americana', by Kola Loka, and I believe that I'm mostly irritated by the way it permeates my conscious after listening to it, the way a good, but slightly irritating, pop song can.


1 comment:

Arion said...

Hi, you have a great blog. Seems like we have similar tastes when it comes to comic books.

By the way, I just reviewed the first volumen of Carey's The Unwritten on my blog


feel free to stop by.

Keep up the good work!