2007 album van Jesus Alemany`s Cubanismo "Greetings from Havana"
Due to constant world touring, this is the first album of new material from Cubanismo in over 6 years. It represents the evolution of the band through that time. Recorded at Abdala Studios in Havana, Cuba`s finest studio. This album exhibits all the fire and swing that defines traditional Cuban dance rhythms while also allowing its players the freedom of a jazz-style jam session resulting in fabulous big band sound with absolutely red hot solos.
For over a decade, Cubanismo! has steadily extended their reputation as one of the most popular bands playing traditional Afro-Cuban music (think of them as a modern, younger Buena Vista Social Club). The group`s audience in the United States (where they first performed) grew to be a sizable one, aided by frequent touring during their early years, but due to the political pigheadedness that has kept the cultural exchange between Cuba and the U.S. to a minimum, the band was barred from returning to the U.S. for much of the post-9/11 period. Fortunately, the Australian AIM label had the foresight to send Cubanismo! back into the studio for the first time in six years and to make sure that the resultant album has sufficient U.S. distribution. So the title, Greetings from Havana, is to be taken literally. Its creators, unable to plug their work via direct interaction with their American audience, are forced to continue their work from a distance. And it would be a shame if the album did not reach its intended audience or hook new fans, because it`s quite likely Cubanismo!`s BEST work to date. Tighter than ever musically, the band`s fiery fusion has taken on a more jazz-oriented freedom than in the past without sacrificing any of the island authenticity that bandleader/trumpeter Jesus Alemany has insisted upon since the start. Horn and piano solos are crisp and exhilarating, the layers of percussion never quit propelling the sunny melodies forward into dance territory, and both the lead and harmony vocals are always exciting and exquisite. Gliding easily between mambo, rumba, son, bolero, and other substrata of Cuban music, and running through a range of lyrical topics, from standard romance to matters more spiritual, Cubanismo! is one of the great standard-bearers of their country`s music. Now, if only they would be allowed to show their northern neighbors why. (All Music Guide)