The Beginners Guide series is garnering a reputation for collecting quality tunes in a triple CD set...and BGT Cuba is no exception. The three CDs each cover a different style...
CD1 "Classic Cuba' has all the Buena Vista style artists: Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Cunbanismo etc. and there are a few classic tunes that many will know from other sources, but the quality bar is high, with most tunes displaying the easy languid grooves and harmonies we have come to know and love. *****
CD2 "Jazzy Cuba' ...says it all...the cuban grooves being a little more subservient to solos and spotlights on individual talents...still exuberant and danceable, but perhaps less of interest to DJs. This is my least favourite of the three.***
CD3 'Salsa Cuba' is chock full of top Cuban salsa, which is like South American Salsa, but with a sprinkling of Mambo thrown in for good measure. There are some tunes here that get you moving...almost against your will...real MOVERS! ****
Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean has, along with her neighbour Jamaica, exerted an influence on the world's music that far outweighs her size and population. Here, especially on disc one, we see why, with some breathtakingly beautiful tunes.
Total time for the three CDs is a reasonable 2 1/2 hours. All the tunes, with a few exceptions are from between 1995 and 2003, and many of these pieces have a timeless quality that only world class musicians can provide. Recommended.