Photo: Official page of the Septeto Santiaguero

The new aged son from El Septeto Santiaguero

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Reviews
Reading time 3 minutes

On July 23, the Septeto Santiaguero uncorked its tenth phonographic production at the Hotel Meliá Santiago To me what: Tribute to the Cuban classics, recorded hand in hand with the Dominican interpreter José Alberto El Canario. The smell of these sones refers to the secrets that Facundo Bacardí unveiled in Santiago de Cuba, those rums trapped among old oak barrels, that drink that widens the soul. Son and ron are said in a syllable, but both are essence of this island, both shake suddenly and lead to enjoyment. Santiago de Cuba capitalizes those nutrients.

There is so much musical caliber in this city that if a top ten of the sound groups of Santiago de Cuba were made, El Septeto Santiaguero would not have it easy. They are guardians in the land of Miguel Matamoros defenders attached to a tradition, to what is usually called culture. Here almost anyone has a three foundational.

However, it is difficult to doubt the certainty with which El Septeto Santiaguero has combined tradition, modernity, quality and market strategy. From that it follows that their records are unique pieces, jewels in any music library that tries to have the best made in Cuba.

On the album A mi qué: tribute to the Cuban classics, The Septet repeats the formula. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about, although this time it puts something more to the old: in the 12-track phonogram and a bonus track, it invites for the first time great singers such as Gilberto Santa Rosa and Pancho Céspedes. In addition to El Canario, with whom they have already recorded I do not want crying. Tribute to Los compadres, in 2015. In the new installment there is a long list of illustrious guests, because as the director of El Septeto said ... Fernando Dewar: "The future of music is in collaborations". Among others, appear the singer of Osaín del Monte, Rubén Bulnes; Alexander Abreu; the rumbero Ángel "El Puro" Valerino and the troubadour Ángel Almenares, both from Santiago; the Puerto Rican cuatrista Edwin Colón Zayas; Orlando Valley "Maraca"; the Dominican accordionist El Prodigio and Iván Antonio "El sonero de Cuba".

A few years ago Dewar told me that he did not work to get Grammy awards. However, I consider how difficult it can be for the Septet to stop painting similar pieces to other successful ones of the past. There could be the trap: they repeat themselves to infinity, even when they confess that the plan is only to complete their trilogy of emblematic songs with the Canary.

But be careful, these people know the way. In To me what, tribute to the Cuban classics there are well-known pieces like They had me moored compé / Bilongo, de Ñico Saquito,  aquí con excelente versión. Hablando de reapropiaciones, los del staff abrazaron nada más y nada menos que al gurú Ángel Almenares, y junto a él encontraron una añeja canción  que renombraron  It is an enigma.

To defend that piece they summoned another who knows how to do well, sell and seduce. Don Pancho Céspedes, the filigreed balladeer, plays the minstrel and comes out on this issue that I confess, I had to listen more than once to understand it. The exercise is worth it, It is an enigma -verdadero título de la canción de Alberto Castillo- es  el tema del álbum que aconsejo a todos y coloco una y otra vez.

We must highlight other precious versions, such as Convergence, that piece that Miguelito Cuní and Pablo Milanes could defend so high, this time with Gilberto Santa Rosa and the Canary; They had me moored compé (to which I would put all the promotional effort), or The guarapachanga, fundamental bet in this minute of El Septeto Santiaguero and José Alberto El Canario.

It is an unfilled disk. There is not a displaceable piece, already by the selection and arrangements, which by the way sound danceable and current, already by recording and mixing, by Ismael Torres, Iván Salas and Edgar Leyva, or by the production of the former Son 14 Geovanis Alcantara

To me what: tribute to the Cuban classics, published under Los Canarios Music and Egrem is a proposal with a good rum flavor. If one puts well the senses can even feel the smell of wood, the way the drink goes down to the soul. There is in this review for Cuban music the very essence of the island: Pedro Speck, Celina González or Tiburón Morales ... they will feel the fairness of this tribute, which for our luck they have made The Septeto Santiaguero and José Alberto El Canario.

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