Si, Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba, Vol. 1
Culled and remastered from tapes made in the ’70s that were found stored in a warehouse in Havana (stashed there by Castro’s government after the Ministry of Culture came into existence to oversee Cuban art in the late-’70s), Si, Para Usted is a fun and funky collection of Cuban-style fusion songs brimming with the distinct influence of American funk and soul music. Well-known Cuban group Los Van Van represents with its percussion-driven “Y No Le Conviene.” Irakere—out of which came Cuban superstars Paquito D’Rivera, Chucho Valdes and Arturo Sandoval—is featured on the Santana-evoking rocker “Bacalao Con Pan.” Sintesis’ “Con La Luz De La Mañana” breezes along, with its debt to jazz-influenced rock group Steely Dan unmistakable. One of the highlights of this interesting disc is “De La Fiesta La Mejor,” a super-vibrant, dance-party song by Combo Tiempos Nuevos, a band made up of members of the Communist Youth Militia.