Rough Guide To Cuban Rare Groove

Quite a few compilations have mined the rich reserves of 1960s and 1970s post-revolution music from Cuba, with several concentrating on the areas of funk, jazz, disco and rare groove in general. Others have dug deep into the vaults in Miami, where a young generation of children of Cuban exiles created an exciting stew of rock, funk and Cuban styles. This collection aims to be different and digs deeper, serving as a rough guide to Cuban-flavored rarities made outside of the island in the post-Castro diaspora, by a mix of Cuban and non-Cuban musicians from yesteryear and today. There is a special emphasis on talented Cuban expatriates like vocalist/percussionist Willy Chirino, composer/arranger, bandleader and pianist Julio Gutiérrez, and percussionist/vocalist 'Manteca' (Lázaro Plá). We spotlight the influential Cuban label in exile, Gema Records, with eight old-school numbers, while several come from Europe: Pantaleón Pérez Prado working in Milan, and the Brussels-based Dutch bandleader Nico Gómez, born Joseph Van Het Groenewoud, who was so obsessed with Cuban music that he changed his name. Gómez is backed here by the stalwart Belgian studio band, Los Chakachas, of 'Jungle Fever' fame. The set is rounded out with contemporary artists based in France, New York, and Miami. In keeping with the rare groove label, most have not appeared before on other Cuban-themed compilations.