Reissues of historic 78s. CD includes 24-page book annotated by Michael Avalos, with song texts, photos, etc.
he Cuban son is a musical style and dance characterized by its syncopated rhythmic structure. It emerged around the turn of the century out of rural Oriente (Cuba's easternmost province in those days) and became the most influential element in popular Latin American music. The instrumentation of tres, guitar, bongos, string bass and two vocalists who also played claves and maracas, became standard and set the stage for the worldwide spread of the Cuban son. The son provides an obvious link to Salsa and other forms of popular Latin music today. By taking the basic instrumentation of the son and adding piano, conga drums, horns, electronic instruments etc., salsa and its related forms have become an international phenomena.
This CD contains four of the great pioneer recording groups, a 24 page booklet with a complete history of the Cuban son, biographies of the groups, and transcriptions and translations of the songs.
Sexteto Munamar (1930)
1. Acurdate Bien, Chaleco (Remember Well, Vest)
2. Vengan Vengan (Come, Come All)
3. Entre Todas Las Mujeres (Amongst All Women)
4. Cruce Los Mares (I Crossed the Seas)
5. Chaqueton (Overcoat)
6. Lucumi (Lucumi)
7. Yibiri (Yibiri)
Sexteto Machin (1929 &Amp; 1930)
8. No Es Cuento, No (it's Not a Tale, Really!)
9. Me Voy A Baracoa (I'm Going to Baracoa)
10. Raina Guajira (Queen Guajira)
11. El Camison De Pepa (Pepa's Shirtdress)
12. Fuego En La Maya (Fire in La Maya)
13. Mama Yo Quiero Un Yoyo (Mamma, I Want a Yoyo)
14. Avellana y Mani (Hazelnuts and Peanuts)
15. A Orillas Del Yumuri (on the Banks of the Yumuri)
16. El Ray Manolo (King Manolo)
17. Soreto De La Caridad (Lottery Drawing)
18. Caserita (Housewife)
Sexteto Nacional (1930)
19. Suavecito (Gently)
20. Incitadora Region (Inciting Region)
Sexteto Matancero (1930)
21. Son A La Mujer Cubana (Son to Cuban Women)
22. A Una Matancera (to a Matanzas Woman)
23. La Vida No Retona (Life Cannot be Relived)
24. De Donde Seran? (Where Are They From?)
“Driven largely by the pioneering efforts of Sexteto Habanero in the early decades of this century, Cuba's music underwent a steady development both in musical style and lyrical content. What emerged was a musical genre, the son, which became a source of national identity. The selections on this recording were originally recorded in 1930, during the style's heyday. The groups included here were often directly influenced by the Sexteto Habanero, sometimes sharing repertoire and personnel. This influence can be heard in the somewhat homogenous sound found on this recording. The languid, tropical feel of the music is created by the gentle rhythms of claves and guitar, the pulsating broken chords of the tres (a bright-toned cousin of the guitar) and the pleasant harmonies of the call-and-response vocals. The trumpet adds sparkle with its jazzy licks and the bongos let loose with rhythmic breaks only to retreat to the background again.
The songs are mostly about love, from a man's point of view. Politics, humor and everyday life often creep into the lyrics, but generally the songs concern women, their attributes and their fickleness.
One such song is `El Camisón de Pepa' which tells the story of a young woman who's shirtdress `can dance by itself,' and how enticing she looks in it, even if it is a little ragged. As simple as they may seem at the outset, the songs are often loaded with double entendre. Luckily, for those of us not familiar with Cuban slang from the thirties, much of this is explained in the excellent liner notes.”
(Elaine Bradtke — Sing Out!)