Daymé Arocena, Cubafonía

by Ferell Aubre

Since Celina Gonzalez, no singer has been hailed the ‘Queen of Cuban music’. She’s a follower of the Afro-Cuban Santería faith, and her best material echoes the African-influenced religious chanting she has known since childhood.

All indicators point to Dayme becoming Cuba’s finest export.  An astonishing combination of a powerful voice and her deep knowledge of music allows her to go from jazz to rumba with absolute ease. This album is her best so far, and shows the leaps and bounds already this young performer is making from recording to recording, as she travels through the world of Cuban genres, owning each one of them.  A wonderful mix of English and Spanish (Castilian) tracks are a foot, and they work well nicely placed alongside each other.  From her rendition of “Manteca” and “Mambo Na’ Ma” to the beautiful bolero “Todo por Amor,” Dayme is on top of her game, and this album simply put; work! And works wonderfully.  It’s a fantastic step up in the continuing evolution of her discography.  Excellent production, also lends to the impact of this offering.  Tight percussion, luxurious string arrangements and hard hitting brass, make this an exciting and contemporary Afro-Latin sound that is infectious.

At 22, Daymé Arocena is well on her way to wowing the globe, and I cannot wait to see it happen.

Track Listing: 1 – Eleggua; 2 – La Rumba me llamo yo; 3 – Lo que fue; 4 – Maybe Tomorrow; 5 – Negra Caridad; 6 – Mambo Na’ Mà; 7 – Cómo; 8 – Todo por Amor; 9 – Ángel; 10 – It’s Not Gonna Be Forever; 11 – Valentine.

Personnel: Daymé Arocena: vocals and string recordings; Jorge Luis Lagarza: piano (1 – 7, 9 – 11), backing vocals (1 – 3, 5, 7, 10, 11); Gastón Joya: double bass (1, 2, 5, 8, 9,), electric bass (7), marimbula (11); Rafael Aldama: electric bass (3, 4, 6, 10); Ruly Herrera: drums (1 – 7, 8, 9, 10), güiro (11); Yaroldy Abreu: percussion; Marcos Yosvany Diaz: percussion (1); Mayquel González: trumpet ( 1 – 3, 5 – 7, 10, 11), backing vocals (1 – 3, 5, 7, 10, 11); Emir Santacruz: tenor saxophone (1 – 3, 5 – 7, 10), clarinet (11); Yuniet Lombida: baritone saxophone (11 – 3, 55, 6, 10); Heikel Fabian Trimiño: trombone (1 – 3, 5 – 7, 10); Robert Luis Gómez: guitar (4, 5, 7, 8); Lino Lores: três (11); Barbara Llanes: vocal (1); Dreyser Durruti: vocal (1); Leonel Ernesto Lastres: backing vocals (1 – 3, 5, 7, 10, 11) Daniela J Barreto: backing vocals (1 – 3, 5, 7, 10, 11); Loreta Zerquera: backing vocals (1 – 3, 7); Dexter Story: backing vocals (7, 10); Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: sting arrangement and performance (7); Uncredited: additional percussion probably on (2).

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