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Juan De Marcos Afro-Cuban All Stars: Absolutely Live II – Viva México!

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Juan-De-Marcos-Afro-Cuban-All-Stars - Absolutely-Live-II-Viva-Mexico

Juan De Marcos Afro Cuban All Stars: Absolutely Live II Viva Mexico!

Editor’s Pick · Featured Album ·

Afro-Cuban music is at the intriguing heart of American history and its development into Latin-Jazz in New York, California and Miami, as in the Caribbean nations is a direct reflection of a changing political and cultural environment in a period bracketed by the roots and the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution and, more importantly, The Cold War.

The confluence of the arts of Afro-American Jazz and Afro-Cuban music in its many forms during the late-19th century right through the 1950s and 1960s right up until today is more vast and deeper than the 90 miles that separates it. And it would take a considerable anthology of music to document all of that history that has come to define it in the intervening years.

However, the Buena Vista Social Club, and groups like the Afro-Cuban All Stars, many of which shared the same beating heart: its musicians who played as one have fortunately curated an enormous library of music for lovers of music to enjoy every hour of every day. This is a fact that has been demonstrated admirably on this enjoyable album, Absolutely Live II – Viva Mexico! of thoroughly atmospheric music , running the gamut from the cool intimacy of son to the hot, rumbustious big band arrangements of Latin Jazz and mambo.

There are a few familiar names to reassure the uncertainty of the aficionado; few more recognisable than the imperious Juan De Marcos González and Gliceria Abreu. And there are also some others, not so brand-new anymore – such as Orlando de Jesus Fraga, Laura Lydia González, Emilio Suárez, Gliceria González and more. But nothing could prepare the listener for the visceral excitement that comes from the sonic results of a “Live” album.

Best of all, of course is the repertoire and its introduction by the inimitable Juan De Marcos himself. The explosive “Yaimara’s Groove”, “Barbaridad” and other music from end to end (such as) “Candela” and “La Mujer del Barbaro” have been introduced to a new generation of listeners via Juan De Marcos’ genius and charisma, which shines through Absolutely Live II – Viva Mexico!. Throughout, Juan De Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars reign supreme, whether delivering Latin Jazz, son or mambo.

The musicality of The Afro-Cuban All Stars and Juan De Marcos’ power propel this music ever forward. The showmanship of its leader makes everything he touches his own, illuminating even the simplest phrase. His showmanship is as natural as his musicianship; in both he has reached out to his audiences, as you can hear in their applause. And you can also hear why the younger musicians respond not just with awe, but also with their own geniuses to Juan De Marcos, the master of Latin Jazz and a life force of this music.

Track List – 1: Yaimara’s Groove; 2: Barbaridad; 3: Tumba y Bongo; 4: Camino de Santiago; 5: Ahora me da Pena; 6: El Cuarto de Tula; 7: Candela; 8: La Mujer del Barbaro.

Personnel – Juan De Marcos: musical director, vocals, guitar and hand percussion; Gliceria Abreu: General Manager and Afro-Cuban Percussion; Julito Diaz: trumpet and flugelhorn; Yoanny Pino: trumpet and flugelhorn; Yaure Muniz: trumpet and flugelhorn; Orlando de Jesus Fraga: lead trumpet; Laura Lydia González: bass and B clarinet: Jiovanni Cofino: bass; Caleb Michel: backing vocals and timbales; Tany Allende: congas; Emilio Suárez: lead vocals; Gliceria González: vibraphone, keyboards and backing vocals; Jose Marcos “Greko” Crego: piano; Asley Rosell: backing vocals, bongo and cowbell.

Record Label: DM Productions
Year Released: 2017
Running time: 1:08:38


Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

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