Cuban veterans and young talents make the old new again. Here are seven summer-ready albums.
A new documentary about Cuban group Buena Vista Social Club is one more testimony to the ageless appeal of classic Cuban music. To capitalize on renewed interest the film could bring, World Circuit, the label that released the original 1997 Buena Vista album, is reissuing Introducing...Ruben González, the international solo debut of the Buena Vista pianist. It comes out on on vinyl and CD June 16.
González, who performed with cha-cha-cha creator Enrique Jorrín and the Afro-Cuban pioneer Arsenio Rodríguez in his early days, made a comeback with the Afro Cuban All Stars before being cast by Ry Cooder for Buena Vista. The All Stars, led by Buena Vista A&R man and musical director Juan de Marcos González, also have a notable new album out. Absolutely Live II – Viva Mexico finds the group in fantastic form, layering timeless big band son with the sound of contemporary Havana jazz.