An ocean apart, Africa and Cuba are nonetheless inseparable.
It took me a while to understand that this was a two-way connection;
not only did Africa provide the foundations of Cuban music, the
resulting styles and rhythms created a feedback loop that has
increased over the decades.
This CD is a seamless presentation of Afro-Cuban music from both
sides of the Atlantic-sometimes in the same song, as in "Rumba
Makossa" featuring Cameroonian saxman Manu Dibango alongside
the Cuban son group Cuarteto Patria. Don't rely on your ear alone
to distinguish song origins: the most "African-sounding"
track, "Yewa" is by legendary Cuban Santeria singer
Lázaro Ros, while "Viva Super Eagles" oozes Cuban
authenticity although it comes from The Gambia's Super Eagles.
Like any compilation, this one suffers from omissions (where's
Congolese crooner Wendo Kolosoy?) but you can discover those when
you find yourself craving even more of this great music.