An unusual project, La Rumba Soy Yo. It’s largely a marriage of contemporary Timba and
Salsa singers with big band Salsa and Rumba groups. This is not all Rumba, then, or even folkloric. It includes a good number of songs accessible to Casino or Salsa dancers. What it all is, almost throughout, is intelligently, sensitively conceived and executed music. A lot of work went into this and there’s not a dull track though electric guitar adds nothing for me in El Jardín.
Beyond the dissonance they share, there is little obvious connection between the Rumba groups and big band. But what does it matter if a great CD was made in the process? Of the Rumba groups included, there are no surprises. Yoruba Andabo, Los Munequitos, Los Papines, and my personal favourite, Clave y Guaguancó, which here perform a Haitian song, Maileo. There is also a solo by the late Tata Güines whose career went back at least to Cachao’s Descargas In Miniature of the mid 1950’s. It’s rich, complex and absorbing music. The Soneros include Mayito, Haila, Issac, El Indio and Aramis.