Yissy García was one of the girls who were brought out of Cuba by the renowned soprano saxophonist and flutist “Havana” Jane Bunnett to form the original iconic quartet, Maqueque. She is also one of two (the other is vocalist Daymé Arocena) whose career as a drummer rocketed heavenward. Not for nothing did Miss García become one of the most in-demand drummer in and around Cuba and – like Miss Arocena – a worthy leader of an ensemble and a bona fide international drummer. And hot from the proverbial press, Última Noticia is making headlines wherever good music is listened to and appreciated especially by musical aficionados.
It is no surprise also, that Miss García displays all the visceral power and sublime taste in the momentum of her musicality, always surprising the listener with stylish rhythmic colours even when she is trodding, hot-footed on her hi-hat and bass drum. Her hands, meanwhile, are lightning fast and she is capable of turning even familiar rhythmic forms such as the Brasilian samba (on festive “Pequeña Sambita”) and other, Afro-Caribbean forms such as the rumba and guaguanco-with-a-twist (on the magical “Te cogió lo que anda” and the airy “Mr. Miller” respectively, both of which qualify as rollicking Cuban comparsas as well) into highly personal interpretations of traditional dance forms.
Editor’s Pick · Featured Album · Última Noticia
Yissy García does more than simply drum her way exquisitely through the album. She has also brought four superb compositions of her own to the date. There is an emerging musical voice here, immersed in Jazz and picking up from a music style that is uniquely funky in the vein that Miles Davis made famous with his band that included Marcus Miller. And although this influence is strong on songs such as “Última noticia” there are very broad motifs and drum figures that set the music completely apart. Further evidence of this is in her breathtaking chart “Mr. Miller” and a rendition of one of Marcus Miller’s best-known Miles Davis anthems, “Tutu”.
While Yissy García may not have broken the glass ceiling for women drummers (Cindy Blackman-Santana and Terri Lyne Carrington were there before her), but she is pushing hard at it and seems set to put a significant crack on it. “Última noticia” is the kind of song on which you get to experience with a rush of blood just how exciting it is to listen to her making music. Her superb playing continues on the rest of the album, with striking performances on a delightfully complex “Avi” with its wicked rhythmic twists and turns.
Throughout the recording Miss García is supported by a cast of wonderful musicians including some very special guests on vocals, tres, guitars, tenor saxophone, bass and percussion, all of whom acquit themselves with great distinction. And even though the music on the album fills an hour or so – a considerably longer time than many albums these days – one is still left gasping for more by the end of it all. Yissy García has so much going for her and it can only be upward.
Track list – 1: Cambios; 2: Última noticia; 3: Pequeña Sambita; 4: Mr. Miller; 5: Avi; 6: Comienzo; 7: A Roy; 8: Te cogio lo que anda; 9: Tutu; 10: Sin regreso
Personnel – Yissy Garcia: bandleader and drums; Jorge Aragon: piano; Julio Cesar González: acoustic and electric bass (5 & 6 string); Julio Rigal: trumpet and flugelhorn; Inay Rodriguez (Dj “Jigue”): machine/synthesizer (1-4). With Special Guests: Kelvis Ochoa: voice (8); Yusa: tres (8); Héctor Quintana: electric guitar (1, 6, 7); Roberto Gómez: electro-acoustic guitar (6); Emir Santacruz: tenor saxophone (10); José Ángel “El Negro”: percussion (2, 3, 4, 8, 9); Ayram Varona: bass (2, 10) and synthesizer (2); Sheena: coro (8)
Released – 2017
Label – Independent
Runtime – 1:04:03