Saturday 5 February 2011

Look Back in Charanga

Sue Miller & Charanga del Norte
Look Back in Charanga

Charanga del Norte CDN OOCD10

Accomplished flautist and Cuban music expert Sue Miller deserves an apology from me. This CD arrived last summer, and was played then, but somehow slipped down into a pile…This is someone who knows her stuff and loves nothing more than a god descarga (jam session). She feels Cuban music in her blood, and the band behind her does some sterling work. That she’s the star is beyond doubt, and her freewheeling, spiralling improvisations are joyful to hear. Bonus points for coming from Leeds and the delightful wordplay in the title, but the meat is in the performance, which is as tasty as they come – within Cuba or outside.

On a sonic level the recording could have been better – the flute is sometimes too shrill – but that’s essentially a minor quibble. The music is what matters, and there’s plenty of it.

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