Si, Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba

(Waxing Deep)

Afro-Cuban music jazz fusion
During the '70s, a slew of Cuban songwriters and musicians -- who all had their ears turned to illegal radio from the States -- started blending Afro-Cuban music with the sounds of American soul and funk.

In this collection -- compiled by music historian Dan Zacks, who found some of the source tapes in a warehouse in Havana -- we hear what could arguably be called the roots of Cuban jazz fusion, where electric guitars and keyboards meet the rich, lively percussion that so characterizes the music of that country.

Among the disc's highlights are Mirtha y Raul's "Casina y Epidecus," which employs Middle Eastern instruments and an eerie movie-trailer-like narration, and Irakere's "Bacalao con Pan," an electric, guitar-based track with plenty of brass that brings the arrangements of the late Arif Mardin to mind (the band, by the way, featured now-legendary figures Paquito D'Rivera, Chucho Valdes, and Arturo Sandoval). Listen also to "Adeoey," a tune that was clearly intended for the dance floor, but explores weird synth sounds and heavily distorted guitars.

Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.