Originally released in 1995, this CD version of Para Mi Gente is a US re-release from 1997.
The MP3 version is from Bis Music in Cuba.
Para Mi Gente is what rocked La Habana back then. Part street Timba, part teen heartthrob, El Medico was the medical student turned singer. This is his second CD and La Bola was taken up by more than the country’s youth. The government took its coro “Te fuiste, y si te fuiste perdiste” (You left, and if you left you lost) as a finger or two, your choice, at the multitude fleeing Cuba and its collapsed economy. Oh dear, if only they could have known. The next CD would include “Mami, yo tengo amigos en Miami” (I have friends in Miami) in two versions and then El Medico himself would jump ship. Unlike the balseros setting off on inflated inner tubes through shark infested waters from Mariel, I think he flew.
Full of innovation, Para Mi Gente has a totally different sound from that of his first CD, particularly in the percussion and bass departments. It’s also a clear stepping stone to De Buena Fe, his next and finest CD. The material isn’t as sophisticated or consistent as De Buena Fe, but as one of the greatest Timba CDs of all time that’s a hard act to precede or follow. This is also a classic. It captures Cuba of its day and at its best the arrangements, many by Luis Bú Pascual, are revolutionary and superb. The horns are razor sharp, percussion is dynamic and in the latter you have to include bass as Victor Collazo seems to hit more than play it in a conventional sense.