TUGCD 1027

Rumbero Soy [Audio CD] Sierra Maestra

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Founded in 1977, the well-travelled band Sierra Maestra celebrates 25 years together with the release of Rumbero Soy. The ensemble's classic instrumentation of tres, guiro, clave, guitar, bongo, trumpet, maracas and vocal chorus comes in loud and clear. Produced by British guitarist Chris Birkett, the group performs with special Cuban and American guests. Jazz guitar whiz Marc Ribot lends his twangy, spacey licks to the peppery title track and "Sevilla De Cana Brava". Buena Vista Social Club superstars Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo lend their vibrant voices to four songs, including the picturesque "Sabina Gomez" and the romantic "Convergencia". The group's spirited lead vocalists Alberto Virgilio Valdes and Jose Antonio "Maceo" Rodriguez keep the rumba and son montuno grooves flowing on the other tracks. There's no doubt that this group will be in top form for the next quarter century.--Eugene Holley, Jr.