Ska Cubano - Ay Caramba!

106 5 Rating

The Bottom Line

This exciting CD blends Jamaican ska, Cuban son, and Colombian cumbia to form a new pan-Caribbean genre that is highly addictive and eminently danceable.

  • Adroit musicianship.
  • Fun and fresh concept and execution.
  • Staying power... you can listen over and over without getting bored!

  • Nada

  • Ska, Son, Cumbia... what more do you need?
  • Pleasantly campy pan-Caribbean sounds.
  • Light and slightly ribald lyrics on many songs.

    Guide Review - Ska Cubano - Ay Caramba!

    I first caught wind of Ska Cubano's exciting pan-Caribbean sound on Putumayo's "The Caribbean" compilation, and I immediately wanted to hear more. Luckily, Ska Cubano's full-length CD was no disappointment. This concept band imagines what it would be like if Jamaican and Cuban music had cross-fertilized, combining elements of both ska and son with other Latin and Afro-Caribbean elements. The result is campy, yes, but intensely delightful and wildly dynamic.

    Singers Beny Billy and Natty Bo both contribute vocals, with Billy singing the Spanish-language songs and Bo singing in English. A stellar lineup of musicians from Jamaica, Cuba and England provide the backup; a combination of pleasantly dissonant horns, driving percussion and plucky backing vocals create a fun sound that comes off as entirely authentic.

    Highlights of Ay Caramba! include traditional mento song "Big Bamboo" (a double-entendre if I ever heard one), cumbia "Tungarara" and the silly title track.

    July 11, 2006


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