Cuadernos de la Habana (Notebooks of Havana)

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
This five-CD project is something else typical of the Winter & Winter label. The reclusive Italian poet and painter Mario Luis Malfatti has assembled a very personal soundtrack for an aural film, a soundtrack for the mind. These five-plus hours of music and fetishistic package recorded by Malfatti on a DAT recorder are very much field recordings adorned lovingly with his drawings and paintings in the accompanying booklets. Musicians of all types were caught live, without advance notice, in cafes, on street corners, in ballrooms, and in clubs, performing for audiences of everyday people. All Cubans, it seems, at least in Malfatti's view, take part in music as a part of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
This five-CD project is something else typical of the Winter & Winter label. The reclusive Italian poet and painter Mario Luis Malfatti has assembled a very personal soundtrack for an aural film, a soundtrack for the mind. These five-plus hours of music and fetishistic package recorded by Malfatti on a DAT recorder are very much field recordings adorned lovingly with his drawings and paintings in the accompanying booklets. Musicians of all types were caught live, without advance notice, in cafes, on street corners, in ballrooms, and in clubs, performing for audiences of everyday people. All Cubans, it seems, at least in Malfatti's view, take part in music as a part of everyday life. "Music here is therapy," he writes, "the most handy way to forget, to feel alive." And what is there to forget? Plenty. The pervasive poverty is one thing according to Malfatti: "These streets ooze poverty, but it would be difficult to bear poverty with more dignity," he writes in the liner notes. This collection is set up as a tour, an experience encountered aurally, but it's also designed to affect the other senses. The listener first encounters the wistful piano stylings of Frank Emilio Flynn at the Miramar. His "Midnight Theme" is just that. Gentle, long melodic lines spun out to the sounds of people drinking and talking in the background. Seemingly out of time and space, it's gorgeous in its evocation of romantic yet melancholy memory. Next, at the Central Railway Station, one can hear traces, ever so faintly, of the Buena Vista Social Club and children's voices before checking in at the Valencia Hotel and encountering Cuarteto Tradición for 20 minutes of exquisite son with three-part harmonies, violin, maracas, guitar, and bass. And, yes, then we're on to the Velado where Olga González Cordo sings a short song of longing and sadness a cappella. And before departing disc one, we are treated to 20 mind-blowing minutes of the Dúo Cachibache whose guitars, percussion, and vocal duets are stunning in their complexity and interplay. Here is Cuban music as it touches and is in turn kissed by Brazilian song forms and scat singing. Before we depart entirely, though, a mechanical player piano sends us to our good night with "Aquelle Boca." Cars whiz by in the night, and it's time to stumble back to the hotel to recover from this overwhelming night of wine and song. Disc two begins lazily with the sounds of Quarteto Carenas rehearsing at someone's house. A knock on the door, and we are admitted to this Caribbean quartet whose rhythms are as infectious as their four-part harmonies and knotty song lines. After 20 minutes, it's time to catch a ride to central Havana for a set by Clave y Guaguancó. Like their more famous counterparts, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, this is a percussion and vocal group; the sound of the ancient Cuba as it moved west from Africa. The songs tell stories and legends, the dancers whirl and egg on the musicians, who do their best to respond and pick up the tempo. Call and response chants bring even the most cynical or shy observer into the party. This is communication from the netherworld transformed into music. It's a deadly, heady mix as El Transformador churns on for almost 12 minutes: the rhythms shift, change, and turn in on themselves before hypnotically calling the singers out to join them. Thankfully, there's Frank Emilio Flynn again at the end of disc two with a minuet that's equal parts Haydn and Stephen Foster played to a trademark Jay McShann Kansas City stomp tempo. As disc three opens with a children's choir and ends with another son duo, one begins to get restless and tired. Not that there's anything wrong with the music, but something's missing. That "something" is answered in spades on discs four and five. Opening disc four, Andres Allen's piano playing offers all the intimacy musical history has to offer -- from a Cuban perspective, of course -- and Orquesta Sublime rips through a short set of Cuban jazz. Next, on disc five, a player piano greets us before we are ushered into the languid sounds of Trio Tesis and the Duo Sincopa. Exhausted, after having traveled all over the island, it's time to attend a carnival and dance to the thunderous Afro-Cuban big band Tambores de Bejucal. For 15 minutes the earth shakes, laughter is only sound heard besides the music coming from the bandstand, and the floor may cave in, but who cares? It's the final evening, a time to celebrate for tomorrow as we say goodbye. As if in anticipation, our old friend Frank Emilio Flynn is waiting for us, with a short serenade before dreams overtake us. As a way of easing the transition he whispers Gershwin's "Somebody Loves Me" across his keyboard. His final notes echo long into the night, and our journey enters into the sacred halls of memory, just as it had for Malfatti's parents whose Cuba he sought to find with this truly moving and beautiful project. Whether he succeeded or not is not for us to know; but in the process he has done as much, if not more than the producers of the Buena Vista Social Club, to open up the magical, tragic, and dignified world of Cuba's culture to the rest of the world.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/1999
  • Label: Winter & Winter
  • UPC: 025091003020
  • Catalog Number: 30
  • Sales rank: 389,230

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Midnight Theme (2:59)
  2. 2 From Far Away: Chan Chan - Sound Ambience (1:35)
  3. 3 Siboney - Cuarteto Tradición Cubana (3:39)
  4. 4 El Bodeguero - Cuarteto Tradición Cubana (3:51)
  5. 5 Nosotros - Cuarteto Tradición Cubana (3:08)
  6. 6 Baile del Suavito - Cuarteto Tradición Cubana (3:00)
  7. 7 Dos Gardenias - Cuarteto Tradición Cubana (3:00)
  8. 8 La Bella Cubana - Cuarteto Tradición Cubana (6:09)
  9. 9 From Far Away: Te Quiero - Olga González Cordo (1:43)
  10. 10 Chachacha Cachibache - Duo Cachibache (6:00)
  11. 11 Son de la Loma - Duo Cachibache (4:20)
  12. 12 De Reojo - Duo Cachibache (4:26)
  13. 13 Una Flor Años Después - Duo Cachibache (5:41)
  14. 14 Aquella Boca...! - Eusebio Delfin (3:22)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Moliendo Café - Cuarteto Carenas (3:39)
  2. 2 Romance Guajiro - Cuarteto Carenas (3:51)
  3. 3 Caimán No Come Caimán - Cuarteto Carenas (2:24)
  4. 4 Ojos Malignos - Cuarteto Carenas (2:20)
  5. 5 Ay Sabroso (Me Dirás Qué Sabroso) - Cuarteto Carenas (3:54)
  6. 6 Mi Veneración - Cuarteto Carenas (4:54)
  7. 7 Abó Loritza - Clave y Guaguancó (5:50)
  8. 8 Tambores Batá - Clave y Guaguancó (5:54)
  9. 9 Maileo - Clave y Guaguancó (6:36)
  10. 10 El Transformador - Clave y Guaguancó (11:43)
  11. 11 El Bombín de Barreto - Frank Emilio Flynn (3:30)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Arcoiris - La Cantoria Coralillo (1:52)
  2. 2 La Cantor - La Cantoria Coralillo (1:25)
  3. 3 De Colores Se Visten Los Campos - La Cantoria Coralillo (1:22)
  4. 4 Cheche Colé - Cuarteto Fenix (3:39)
  5. 5 Chan Chan - Cuarteto Fenix (3:33)
  6. 6 La Gloria Eres Tú - Cuarteto Fenix (3:32)
  7. 7 La Bomba - Cuarteto Fenix (3:24)
  8. 8 Qué Manera de Quererte - Cuarteto Fenix (4:34)
  9. 9 Yolanda - Cuarteto Fenix (4:37)
  10. 10 Beso Discreto - Cuarteto Fenix (3:52)
  11. 11 Son de la Loma - Cuarteto Fenix (4:23)
  12. 12 Corazón en Cristal - Duo Enigma (2:39)
  13. 13 A Mi Manera - Duo Enigma (2:34)
  14. 14 Tercera Canción - Duo Enigma (2:26)
  15. 15 Juramento - Duo Enigma (2:54)
  16. 16 Tu Beso - Duo Enigma (2:15)
  17. 17 Ella y Yo - Duo Enigma (1:21)
  18. 18 Flor de Amor - Duo Enigma (2:15)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Contradanzas - Andres Alén (10:07)
  2. 2 Me Estoy Enamorando - Manuel Suárez Silva (3:56)
  3. 3 Te Quemas - Manuel Suárez Silva (2:47)
  4. 4 Algo Te Queda - Manuel Suárez Silva (2:20)
  5. 5 El Amor Es Una Flor - Manuel Suárez Silva (3:33)
  6. 6 Sabor a Mi - Manuel Suárez Silva (4:20)
  7. 7 Sin Poderla Olividar - Manuel Suárez Silva (2:17)
  8. 8 Tengo Mi Razon Para Quererte - Manuel Suárez Silva (4:24)
  9. 9 Noche de Ronda - Manuel Suárez Silva (2:31)
  10. 10 Solamente Una Vez - Manuel Suárez Silva (2:50)
  11. 11 Piensa En Mí - Manuel Suárez Silva (3:42)
  12. 12 La Engañadora - Orquestra Sublime (4:10)
  13. 13 Eres la Chica Ideal - Orquestra Sublime (3:25)
  14. 14 Echeos In the Streets - Sound Ambience (0:42)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Marcha Fox - Ernesto Lecuona (3:27)
  2. 2 Si Me Pudieras Querer - Trio Tesis (4:12)
  3. 3 La Gloria Eres Tú - Trio Tesis (2:56)
  4. 4 Bilongo/La Negra Tomasa - Trio Tesis (3:11)
  5. 5 Dulce Embeleso - Trio Tesis (2:08)
  6. 6 Pedacito de Cielo - Trio Tesis (2:50)
  7. 7 Noche Cubana - Trio Tesis (3:28)
  8. 8 Reclamo Místico - Trio Tesis (3:04)
  9. 9 Loud and Vociferous - Sound Ambience (0:26)
  10. 10 En Guantánamo - Dúo Síncopa (3:33)
  11. 11 El Camisón de Pepa - Dúo Síncopa (4:28)
  12. 12 Ahora Me da Pena - Dúo Síncopa (4:47)
  13. 13 Estoy Hecho Tierra - Dúo Síncopa (2:37)
  14. 14 Chan Chan - Dúo Síncopa (6:12)
  15. 15 Ciclo de la Rumba - Tambores De Bejucal (2:30)
  16. 16 Yoruba - Tambores De Bejucal (3:44)
  17. 17 Carnaval - Tambores De Bejucal (9:24)
  18. 18 Somebody Loves Me (2:36)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ernesto Lecuona Piano, Track Performer
Jose Luis Estrada Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
Orquesta Sublime Track Performer
Frank Emilio Flynn Piano
Geraldo Velez Violin
Tom Gonzalez Bass Guitar
Andre Allen Piano
Eusebio Delfin Piano
Alberto Guerrero Trumpet
Fidel Hernandez Percussion, Vocals
Pedro Francisco Almeida Berriel Percussion, Vocals
Arturo Martínez Cabrera Percussion, Vocals
Amado Dedéu García Percussion, Vocals, Dancer
Amado de Jesus Dedéu Hernández Conductor, Vocals
Leonardo Planche Lara Percussion, Dancer
Damaris Driggs Rodriguez Percussion, Vocals, Dancer
Fernando Velazco Guitar, Vocals
Alexis Hernandez Vocals
Alex Alvarez Quinto
Coralia Arregoitia Vocals, Tres
Jorge Luis Alvarez Trombone
Carlos Fogueras Bass, Vocals, Tres
Tomás Ibáñez Bass
Alicia Alén Choir Master
Joaime Jaime Allen Vocals
Antonio Fidel Azán Guitar, Vocals
Santiago Barbón Piano
Diosdado Zamora Guiro
Alfonso Teijelo Zamora Guitar, Vocals
Roberto Mainegra Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Bernardo Vigil Conductor
Dayana Carracedo Urrútia Vocals
Ismael Quintero Tumba
Nivaldo Quirós Cencerro
Reynaldo Quirós Campana
Roxana Brínguez Vocals
Eugenio Carbonell Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
Olga González Cordo Vocals
Rubén Corrales Correa Bongos, Vocals
Martín Coyado Pailas
Alejandro Trellez Vocals
Cindy Cabadilla Damas Vocals
Maria Dolores Novás Piano
Mario Facundo Rodríguez Pedroso Percussion, Vocals, Dancer
Robelio Pérez Conductor, Vocals
Raúl Fernández Torres Bass, Vocals
Diego Acosta Martinez Vocals, Requinto
Manuel Suárez Silva Guitar, Vocals
René Mateo Lugos Guitar, Vocals
Julio Martínez Frómeta Vocals, Tres
Santiago Garzón Gill Percussion, Vocals, Dancer
Patricia Horta Bertrán Vocals
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Rubén Blades Composer
Enrique Jorrín Composer
Bola de Nieve Composer
Buddy DeSylva Composer
Ballard MacDonald Composer
Chico César Composer
Emilio Rios Composer
Andres Alén Arranger
Francisco Repilado Composer
Cesar Portillo de la Luz Composer
R. Junco Composer
Fabio Zambrana Marchetti Composer
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