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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
11
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on February 16, 2001
With all due respect to the previous reviewers, it doesn't get much better than this! Cubanismo is one of the finest Cuban dance bands working today. They are absolutely incredible live and, although this isn't a live recording, it does capture some of the pure fire and swing of catching Jesus Alemany and his crew in a live setting. Unlike the dynamic Cuban salsa and timba bands of today, Cubanismo plays more traditional Cuban dance rhythms, such as son montuno, changui, pilon, and mambo, but with a modern descarga (jam session) feel and jazz elements mixed in. The first three Cubanismo albums are all FANTASTIC, but, in my opinion, this is the best of the three because of the pure swing and incredible musicianship. Alemany is one of the finest trumpet players anywhere, and he surrounds himself here with the likes of Tata Guines, Miguel "Anga" Diaz, Alfredo Rodriguez, Orlando "Maraca" Valle, Yosvanny Terry, Carlitos Del Puerto, and many other great musicians. It is a band that is hard to top. The arrangements are loose and the playing is intense, allowing the musicians to stretch out. This recording is not meant to be at all like Arturo Sandoval's "Hot House." Rather, like the New York Times review so aptly states, it was a session in which the music really does equal "the intensity of music performed in a club." This is Cuban dance music at it's intense and dynamic best!!! I recommend this, as well as Malembe and Reencarnacion to anyone who wants to experience just how explosive Cuban music can be.
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on August 28, 2001
This is a fantastic C.D. if you like trumpet music/jazz music with very little vocal. Jesus Alemany must be one of the greatest trumpet players. The only C.D. I would recommend ahead of this is The Best of Arturo Sandoval. Arturo's music is also out of this world.
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This is an extremely satisfying collection of Cuban songs performed by a band of virtuosi fronted by the great trumpet player, Jesus Alemany. It's an excellent introduction to the range of Cuban jazz, as the dance tracks include such rhythms as rumba, cha-cha, son, danzon, and pa'ca. The musicians are uniformly excellent, but I was especially impressed by the three Alemany family members on trumpet, Orlando Valle on flute (an instrument that I don't usually enjoy that much), excellent jazz riffs by pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, and underneath it all, the incessant, overlapping percussive section (including the following instruments: timbale, conga, bongo, guiro, claves, and quinto). Tanto Guines is one of the great modern percussionists; he and Miguel Aurelio Diaz move these pieces along with their complex, rumbling beats. The percussion section, by the way, is very well recorded

The CD also cuts across various strains of jazz: Big band (with big blaring solos), some modern dissonance (the saxophonists and pianist play some beautiful abstract riffs that are great 1950's bop) and some straight ahead mainstream numbers. These latter songs (e.g., "Aprovecha") are relaxing and danceable, but also the least compelling. Fortunately, most of the songs take more risks. Unlike another reviewer here, I thought the horn section was tight, the sections and the band as a whole work well together. Towards the end, a few of the cuts on this long album lose some energy as the dance sensibility gets more weight than the jazz. I think mixing in some live performances would have added excitement and enabled a more personal feeling to the band. Granted, they don't showboat it, but the briefly spoken phrase by the drummer at the end of the last song added a "presence" that was almost electrifying. An excellent large ensemble introduction to the genre.
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on April 14, 1999
As a Florida International University student, my assighnment was to review a CD I had never heard before. I casually ran into this one. Thank God that I did! What beautiful music! I was never aware of how much energy, sesuality, and eomotion traditional Cuban music contained. The performances by Jesus Alemany and Alfredo Rodriguez are outstanding. Because the music on this album is danceble, I would recommend it to both jazz lovers and Latin dancers. For my assignment I have listened to the album many times. As a result, I have been able to enjoy all of the musical details found in this album. I am greatful to have had the chance to increase my knowledge and appreciation for Cuban music so early in my life.
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on July 12, 2005
This is a great album. Jesus Alemany is intoxicating. There are seven songs here that are excellent and unforgettable.
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on July 12, 1998
Having been born in Key West, Florida, and having spent the first fifteen years of my life listening to the Cuban sound all around me, I was immediately drawn to this CD and the music of Jesus Alemany. The Carribbean sound, combined with the beat perfected by the pre-Castro musical explosion of the 1940's and 50's, brought me home to the memories of the islands the way they used to be, before Tourism was the mainstay. This is the music that inspired Desi Arnaz and the Big Cuban Sounds of the 1950's that swept the New York and Los Angeles night clubs. This is the Music to be played outside on a hot, sunny day. Maybe one day, we can go back and enjoy the sounds of Cuba. Until then, I have Cubanismo!
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on April 4, 1999
This recording is similar to seeing the group live. Album is more "rootsy" than the first. I like it, just had to listen a little more than the first album to get it's "it". Compare Cubanismo with Arturo Sandoval's Hot House album. Hot House has got to be one of the all time great big band latin jazz albums. When you compare Jesus' group to Sandoval's incredible horn section re-dubs . . . you will be amazed by the difference. Both very good. On the other hand, it may not be fair to compare these very capable Cuban trumpet players. Actually, Jesus' albums are more focused so far (and in the same general groove) than Arturo's. Out of 6 or more albums, I have found each of Arturo's albums to be so different as to render me confussed as to what he really wants in the way of an audience. Jesus, on the other hand, offers a relatively similar musical offering. So far I like his stuff. Here's hoping he continues to develop this format.
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on September 27, 2015
The cd is in good condition, this album has very good songs
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on November 24, 1999
I agree with the previous comment but rate it a little higher if for nothing more than musicianship. Do not regret buying it though, the musicians are great.
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on November 24, 1999
I agree with the previous comment but rate it a little higher if for nothing more than musicianship. Do not regret buying it though, the musicians are great.
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