¡Sin Rumba no hay Son!
Fans of old-style Cuban son unite. Get ready to dance. In its 9th decade Septeto Nacional Iganacio Piñeiro sizzles and the 14 tracks that appear on ¡Sin Rumba no hay Son! run the gamut from soulful ballads to sole-burning son habaneros and rumba-tinged sons. The crisp, clear production on the recording brings out the sparkling horns, lush clave-lead rhythms, and shimmering très. The musicians run a tight ship performing one punchy song after another to the point where it’s almost impossible not to leap out of this chair and dance. Seductive, oh, yes! This is Cuban son at its finest, and well, this national treasure had 90 years to perfect their craft. Similar to wine vintage, Cuban son also grows better with age.
Now featuring its 4th generation of players, Eugenio Rodrìguez in his perfectly modulated voice leads the way. He’s equally at home on a fast number like the opener Embale tiene la llave as he is on a more soulful bolero-son Bella criolla and listen to his gorgeously phrased delivery on the bolero En tus ojos yo veo. Agustìn Someillan Garcìa’s trumpet also stands out on the bolero as it soars over a percussive groove provided by Francisco David Oropesa Fernàndez (bongos) and Crispìn Dìaz Hernàndez. Rounding off the septet, Raùl Acea Rivera anchors the group on his double bass, and Enrique Collazo (très), and Dogoberto Sacerio Oliva (guitars), provide lute support.
It’s no secret that I adore the more rustic Cuban music so I’m certainly enamored with this recording. I find the call and response vocals, Afro-Latin cross rhythms, acoustic lutes, and horn solos invigorating. This isn’t the type of music that I would choose while writing a review, yet it’s keeping my fingers hopping over this keyboard and inspiring my exhausted body onwards and upwards. Do you think this sunny music could cure my cold? At least when I’m listening to these hombres I feel happy.
If you're a fan of Cuba's old guard music, then you don't want to miss this recording. I haven't enjoyed Cuban music this much since first hearing the debut CD of the Buena Vista Social Club. You won't find the same drama played out as on the BVSC disc, but you won't need it. Your feet will ache to dance and its like Samite once said in concert that its an insult to the musicians if the audience doesn't get up and dance. Baila!