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Music Review

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South County
Music of Cuba


Performed by: Maykel Elizarde Group
Label: Ansonica Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 08 September 2017

Maykel Elizarde’s South County makes the case for becoming the definitive collection of son cubano. Building on a Cuban tres foundation, this recording takes listeners on a sonic tour of the island nation. Cultural standards 'Corazon Rebelde' and 'Gracias a La Vida' are interwoven with Elizarde’s own compositions including the 'Condado Sur'. The album opens with a spoken intro asking listeners to compare the music to an ajiaco - a traditional Cuban stew - in which many ingredients blend together to create a common taste, and with South County, a common vision...

Whether you're a lover of traditional Cuban music, or completely new to the genre, Maykel Elizarde Group's South County: Music of Cuba has a little something for everyone.

Over the course of this album's 10 tracks (54 min, 05 sec), listeners are treated to a diverse collection of songs. If I had to chose a favourite, I'd have to opt for 'Influencias' purely for the fact that it's packed with a lot of tongue in cheek humour, as well as being wound around a familiar old classic tune. While 'Gracias a la Vida' is arguably this album's most beautiful track.

Even if you don't thing Cuban music is your thing, I recommend giving it a chance. You may find you fall in love with it.


Nick Smithson

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