Haciendo Historia – Alexander Abreu y Havana D’Primera


Haciendo Historia is the first album from what has
become one of the most successful Cuban acts of the decade. The band was formed by renowned trumpeter Alexander Abreu in 2007, 2 years prior to this album’s first release by the EGREM. His CV includes work with most of the great bands of the 90’s.
Widely regarded as a Timba band, Timba as I understand the term really makes up little of their repertoire. The blistering, uncompromising tribute to ’90’s Timba that opens this album, Resumen De Los 90, opens way to a collection of big band Salsa and Son as well as what Abreu terms “Merengue Fusion.” Apart from Resumen, the Son, Después De Un Beso builds slowly from a traditional opening until it engulfs the listener or dancer in a very warm glow. The song’s development is not linear or obvious, and throughout, Abreu demonstrates the power of singing without emoting. Less is more, wonderful! With more of a Salsa arrangement, Qué Buscas builds similarly employing a nice keyboard hook through most of the song’s duration. Cuando El Río Suena also has some interest but is marred by compressed brass.
Haciendo Historia and Pasaporte are the high points in the band’s 12 year career, each contains some great, unmissable tracks. Subsequent albums have gone downhill in my view. Taken in totality and context, I can’t escape the feeling that for all their virtuosity and popularity, Havana D’Primera represents a high end continuation of Cuban music’s global commercialisation. Much of the repertoire, and most of their recent work, appears an adaptation to a market that can afford concert tickets. It’s a market that generally responds at a lower cultural level, musically speaking, than the slum dwellers of La Habana, those who, back in the day, thronged the streets to NG, Charanga Habanera and El Médico.
The bottom line is that while they may have technical similarities, the social content of 90’s Timba and that of modern Salsa pull in opposite directions. The appropriation and corruption of popular culture by the affluent is possible only where the lower classes, who have always been the life to this music, remain in awe of the upwardly mobile, or, at least, have not yet found their own way. Culture reflects social reality.
© 2019 TimbaMerchant

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© 2009 EGREM 
© 2011 Ahí Namá

Havana D’Primera

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**01 Resumen De Los 90**

**02 Qué Buscas**

03 Historia Verdadera

04 Mi Música

05 **Despues De Un Beso**

06 Vivencias

07 Nina Bonita

08 *Cuando El Río Suena*

09 Oní Oní

10 Confiésale

11 La Cosas De Un Amigo