Magazine article New Internationalist

Step Forward

Magazine article New Internationalist

Step Forward

Article excerpt

Step Forward

by Juan de Marcos

(DM Ahora! DM 0001 CD)

Delightful though the Buena Vista Social Club still is, even this group of peerless - and elderly - musicians cannot continue to shoulder the responsibility for Cuba's prodigious music. Step forward, then, Juan de Marcos, composer, bandleader and force behind the Social Club. With 50 musicians and DM Ahora! - Cuba's first completely independent record company - de Marcos is picking up where Ibrahim Ferrer and the late Ruben Gonzalez left off.

Step Forward shows that Cuban music is in rude health, from the opening jam, a freestyle affair with the frenetic title '13.3.2.21.1.1.1.8.5', to the closing elegy dedicated to Gonzalez himself. Organized under the banner of the Afro-Cuban All-Stars, the album is as much testimony to what's gone before as what will be. Strong performances by emerging stars like vibes player Tamara Castaneda, pianist (and Chopin expert) Dave Alfaro and violinist Luis Lang provide ample testimony to the ecurity of Cuba's musical heritage. …

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