World music fans have always had a special fondness for Cuban music and now the recent thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba is bound to give the genre a huge boost. Fans who haven’t listened to much Cuban music since the release of the Buena Vista Social Club tracks will really be tickled by this set from the Los Angeles-based group fronted by singer and guitarist Gabriel Garcia. Changüí music is a forerunner to salsa and it is rich with the Caribbean rhythms that have their roots in parts of Africa. Garcia has a masters degree in Afro-Latin music, and what you have in this set is dance music that instantly conjures an image of a sultry Havana night club where the bodies sway until dawn. While the emphasis is on rhythm and the dance floor, Garcia’s acoustic guitar playing, clear as a bell and flawless, is a melodic delight unto itself.
By: Kevin Wierzbicki
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