Conjunto Rumbavana Compilation


18 tracks is generous, even by CD standards. Older

folks may remember those 6 or 7 track vinyl LP’s from the ’80’s. It’s still inadequate to do full justice to a band like Rumbavana. Inevitably, every Rumbavana fan would do their own compilation differently from the 26 years of recording this compilation represents. All the same there are some real gems in here that chart the band’s evolution over three decades and in several genres. There are no fillers, either.
The CD kicks off with Tumbayaya from 1964 and several other tracks that capture the flavour of the decade. Así Quiero Corazón is characteristic of Juan Formell’s songs from the late 1960’s to early ’70’s. A Cubanized form of Western psychedelia, it was through such fusions that Los Van Van’s Songo style emerged. Eventually finding its feet Songo became both a dominant strand of Cuban music through the 1970’s- ’80’s and direct forerunner of Timba.
A personal favourite, the Luis Abreu composition Tasca Tasca was covered by second generation Abreus of Sello LA in in their superb CD from 1999, Tranquilo Y Sin Lio. Here and between these two fine interpretations, Rumbavana put their spin on it, Raúl Planas taking lead.
You can see from Tasca Tasca where Son 14 derived elements of their early style, and the relation with Adalberto Álvarez doesn’t end there. He seems to have worked with Rumbavana before forming Son 14, his first band. Included is a track rumoured to have been written by Álvarez at age 18. Really? Amazing at any age but 18 would be precocious. At any rate, El Son De Adalberto from 1977, by which time he must have been 30, was later covered by La Sonora Ponceña under the title Como Te Quise Yo (LP Future). I’ve never heard Álvarez record this himself. Also included, and recorded by Son 14 several years later on the LP Son Como Son, is the Álvarez bolero, Sobre Un Tema Triste. Adalberto Álvarez is credited with both Rumbavana arrangements too.
The flow of material, rhythms and musicians from Cuba to Puerto Rico and elsewhere is well known. Rumbavana, however, did something to redress the imbalance. A bolero, Lo Mismo Que A Usted by Puerto Rico’s prolific and greatest song writer Tite Curet Alonso, finds its way into the mix. From 1995 Rumbavana’s version of Ramona seems to fall outside the scope of this CD and is not included. This was originally written and recorded by Rafael Cortijo but in another exchange with la isla del encanto, Rumbavana stuck close to the arrangement of La Ponceña. This was a complement returned, to Puerto Rico’s finest, after Ponceña had done the same with Rumbavana’s Aunque Te Quiero Me Voy, another track sadly not found here.
Given the place they occupy in Cuba’s music, it’s unsurprising to find material by Lilí Griñan and tributes to Conjunto Chapottín included herein. Que Se Fuñan and Mi Son, Mi Son, Mi Son particularly, evoke the era of Miguelito Cuní, closer to where this compilation began. It is closer still to the grandfather of modern Latin music, original leader of what became Chapottín y Sus Todos Estrellas, Arsenio Rodriguez.
All in all, a pretty good introduction to one of Cuba’s great conjuntos. Highly recommended.


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  •     01 Tumbayaya
  •     02 Quiéreme Mucho Caridad
  •     03 Descarga Corazón
  •     04 Con La Espuela
  •     05 Así Quiero Corazón
  •     06 Te Traigo Mi Son Cubano
  •     07 Tasca Tasca
  •     08 Sobre Un Tema Triste
  •     09 El Son De Adalberto
  •     10 Negro De Sociedad
  •     11 Que Baile Sola El Son
  •     12 Soy Tu Amor Soy Tu Castigo
  •     13 En Casa De Pedro El Cojo
  •     14 Que Se Fuñan
  •     15 Lo Mismo Que A Usted
  •     16 No Me Llores
  •     17 Mi Son Mi Son Mi Son
  •     18 Qué Le Pasa A Esa Mujer

01 **Tumbayaya**

02 *Quiéreme Mucho Caridad*

03 *Descarga Corazón*

04 *Con La Espuela*

05 Así Quiero Corazón

06 *Te Traigo Mi Son Cubano*

07 **Tasca Tasca**

08 *Sobre Un Tema Triste*

09 **El Son De Adalberto**

10 Negro De Sociedad

11 Que Baile Sola El Son

12 *Soy Tu Amor Soy Tu Castigo*

13 *En Casa De Pedro El Cojo*

14 *Que Se Fuñan*

15 Lo Mismo Que A Usted

16 No Me Llores

17 **Mi Son Mi Son Mi Son**

18 **Qué Le Pasa A Esa Mujer**