Again, a playlist taken from a CD giveaway for my Sunday night at Babaluu. Not necessarily a 'best-of' list, and certainly not in any preferred order, just an indication of the salsa/timba music released in Cuba in 09 (mas o menos) that i played on a regular basis - or in the case of Tumbao Habana - which I just received last week that i will play on a regular basis.
I agree with Gabriel that it wasn't a great year for Cuban salsa. However, Los Van Van did release the highly orchestrated 'Arrasando' which yielded three or four great songs for the dance-floor; God's new gift to Cuban music, Havana d'Primera released their debut album 'Haciendo Historia', and the above mentioned Tumbao Havana came out of second-line obscurity to drop an album that will get a lots of play in 2010.
Certainly Charanga Habanera had the song of the year (see earlier post), but I don't think the album 'La Caratula' holds up musically to some of David Calzado's previous work. I thought the two 'Swedish" bands (Calle Real and La Tremenda) put out solid records, i just didn't find the songs that i felt worked for the dancefloor. Same with Azucar Negra.
In 2010, I'm looking forward to a new CD from Manolito Simonet, from NG La Banda (the new songs sound great!), from Paulo FG (who may have finally found the salsa/reggaeton balance that he has been looking for) and from Interactivo, who could surprise a lot of dancers with their new CD Cubanos Por El Mundo.
One last thing. It's customary to put a local band on the best of list and La Crisis by Roberto Linares Brown could be listed because Roberto is a nice guy (he really is), or because he has raised the level of the Toronto Cuban music scene though his talent as an arranger (he most definitely has). But the reality of being a club DJ is that you measure a song by the response of the dance floor, and La Crisis - with another great friend Alberto Alberto singing - got the job done every time I played it.
Anyways, here's the list.....
Lucha Luchador 6:45 NG La Banda
Cuando El Rio Suena 5:10 Havana d Primera
La Familia Cubana 5:17 Tumbao Habana
Mi Songo 4:59 Los Van Van
La Crisis 4:44 Roberto Linares Brown
Despues De Un Beso 5:13 Havana d Primera
Cuando Llegue A La Casa 4:19 Maykel Blanco y su Salsa Mayor
La Madrugada 6:05 Michel Maza
Un Amigo En Madrid 4:46 Alain Daniel
La Nena 3:24 Tumbao HabanaSi No Te Quieres Tu 5:56 Los Van Van