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Before the advent of the Buena Vista Social Club, the best known exponent of Cuba's musica guajira was a single-monikered, cross-dressing fireball named Albita. Her weekly dates at restaurants in Miami's Little Havana and South Beach made her a celebrity sensation (Madonna, as always, was an early supporter), and when she made her major-label debut dipped in stylish men's suits and singing in a rich, powerful alto, Albita Rodriguez revived interest in Cuba's rumba and mambo when the rest of the Latin world was still hooked on drippy salsa romantica. On her second and best album, again produced under the aegis of Miami Sound Machine impresario Emilio Estefan, Albita ditched the drag and came out swinging with elaborate arrangements that put a definitive Cuban stamp on the music, instantly setting her songs apart from the Nuyorican sound ruling Latin radio. Songs like "El Chico Chevere" sport the jazzy over-the-top time signatures made mandatory by Havana's dance bands like Los Van Van; "Hoy No Voy a Trabajar," featuring Arturo Sandoval on trumpet, is a fiery street rumba. Her female-fronted band, including director and treseraJulia Sierra and flutist Mercedes Abal, romps all over these tunes. Bursting with more syncopated vigor than a dozen contemporary salsa albums, Dicen Que is vital listening.
Performance CreditsAlbita Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar
Arturo Sandoval Trumpet
Ramón Rodríguez Bass
Mercedes Abal Flute,Choir, Chorus
Viviana Pintado Piano,Choir, Chorus
Julia Sierra Acoustic Guitar,Choir, Chorus
Ricardo Suarez Bass
Jorge Dobal Trombone,Choir, Chorus
Orlando J. Forte Violin
Fernando Pina Percussion
Rafael Díaz Viola
Yuri Cabrera Choir, Chorus
Technical CreditsAlbita Arranger,Producer
Sebastián Krys Engineer
Albita Rodriguez Producer
Julia Sierra Arranger,Producer
Julian Peploe Art Direction
Javier Garza Engineer
Rafael Mariño Arranger
Omar Fernandez Arranger
R. Rodriguez Composer