July 1st, 2011
Title: Haciendo Historia
Artist: Alexander Abreu y Havana D’ Primera
Label: Ahi Nama Music
Formats: CD, MP3
Release date: April 19, 2011 (first released in Cuba, 2009)
This may be Alexander Abreu’s debut album with his new band, Havana D’ Primera, but for the past 15 years Abreu’s innovative trumpet playing has been drawing a lot of attention in the Cuban music scene. Having won a Latin Grammy in the late ‘90s for his playing in “La Rumba Soy Yo”—a compilation CD of Cuban rumba music—it is no surprise to hear great things from his latest release, Haciendo Historia.
The mighty Havana D’ Primera, consisting of 12 members, play with unmistakable vigor and soul on this promising debut. Listening, it is easy for one to hear the different colors and styles each member brings to the music. Abreu, as the bandleader, wrote and delivered all of the lyrics while also composing most of the music. Haciendo Historia is one of the first albums to showcase not only his incredible trumpet playing but his compelling presence as a front man.
A refreshing aspect of this album is the song diversity that displays Abreu’s artistic range. Songs like “Vivencias”, a slow heart-felt ballad with a great keyboard spotlight on Tony Rodriguez, and “Cuando el Rio Suena,” a fast dance number with rocketing trumpet lines, really exhibit Abreu’s creative gamut and keep the listener interested from start to finish.
Following is the music video for “Cuando el Rio Suena”:
Fans of the canonical Buena Vista Social Club will find Haciendo Historia both relatable and worthwhile. Throughout the album, Abreu references the iconic Cuban band, both musically and lyrically. With Abreu following in the Buena Vista Social Club’s footsteps, it will be no surprise to see him and his new musical outfit rumba their way to the top of the Cuban music charts.
Reviewed by Sebastian Ramirez