As the Timba wave receded in the early 2000’s, a handful of older bands which had barely adapted to the new sounds, began to stand out once more. Two of these sprang from Elio Revé y su Charangón.
After old Elio’s demise, his brother, Oderquis, formed Oderquis Revé y su Changüí Mix. They gained international acclaim particularly from their song Amigo, which features on a Cuban dance video produced by the American company, Salsaville. This recording was never otherwise released, but Oderquis rerecorded it in 2001 with his band, now renamed without “Mix”. It appeared in 2001 on a very hard to find CD, El Changüí Soy Yo. The band has continued and released at least two more albums.
Meanwhile, Elio’s son, who seems to go under interchangeable names, Elio and Elito, continued el Charangón. He doesn’t seem to have recorded for a while following a fairly drab 1999 affair, Changüí En La Casa De Nora, for which vocalist Hector Valentín re-joined the band. Pensamiento Absurdo is the only track that holds my attention.
In Fresquecito, however, the band found their metre. It’s a return to the old Charangón in many ways, but it’s borrowed it’s bass from Timba while El Martes reaches way back to the days of Changüí ’68. Jonrón, which features Robertón suggests they knew they were onto a winner. This multiple award winning album deserved every accolade it received and it opened the way for a regular flow of releases which continues to the present. Favourite tracks include Fresquito, La Viuda with its heavy bass and a very original break, also, A Sancochar Boniato. This is very solid all the way through though, worth checking a few times.
In passing, Cayo Hueso is to Key West, what Jonrón is to home run. How the Americans got baseball from rounders, though, I’ll never figure out.