Blue Jackel Entertainment has given the jazz listener an outstanding CD in Maria Ochoa's LIKE THIS I WANT TO LIVE, a collection of Cuban music in the son tradition. It is a delight, this Maria Ochoa y corazon de son (and the heart of son) with asi quiero vivir (like this I want to live).
There are 14 selections on the CD with a total playing time of 53:31 minutes. Accompanying the voice of gifted singer Maria Ochoa are Rey Cabrera Castelanos on tres; Vincente Machado Elias on guitar; Alexis Rojas Montero on bass, coros, arranger; Joaquin Emilio Solorzano Benitez on congas, bongos, timbales, bells; Ismael Borges Torres on maracas, guiro, coros; Eduardo Rosario Vega, coros; Enrique Navarro Acosta on flute. The coros, or chorus, adds a special sensitive feel.
The music was recorded at Santiago, Cuba on March 10 - 15th, 2000. This is Cuban music at its finest. All of the selections are perfect examples of Cuban expression in a subtle jazz mode with such songs as "No Quiero Celos," "Suena La Timba," "Como estoy sufriendo," among others. Maria's group is called Corazon de Son, dedicated in part to the beauty of the elemental Cuban folk forms, which makes this CD a blend of Cuban folk, world music, and jazz. It is an intoxicating brew and one that will be of special enjoyment to those who admire Cuban folk music in a jazz expression!
Maria Ochoa has the perfect voice to express the themes and subtle shadings, and her musicians are excellent. The son tradition, is native to the Oriente region of Eastern Cuba, and it is defined as the music of the mountains and the countryside.
This CD is so uniquely Cuban, it should be designated as such, in addition to being classed in Latin and World music. As more of this fine music becomes available, a new class for CD outlets will probably appear under the name, "Cuba," in the jazz and world music CD bins.
If you are looking for a genuine change of pace, something very unique, and something authentically Cuban in all aspects, you are in for a treat with the CD from Maria Ochoa titled LIKE THIS I WANT TO LIVE. Excellent. Five stars. This is Cuban music at its best, performed by a singer and her musicians who perform flawlessly together. A flawless, perfect Cuban music CD.