Personnel: César Pedroso (piano); Jose 'Pepito' Castillo, Alexander Nunez, Armando Cantero (vocals); Gerardo Miro (violin); Leonardo Teruel, Juan Carlos "Chocolate" Gonzalez (trumpet); Sergio Ricardo Luna, Neurys L. Mustelier (trombone); Osiris Martinez (keyboards); Roelvis "Bombón" Reyes (drums); Jorge "El Toro" Castilla (congas); Julito Noroña Jr. (guiro); Rene Suarez (timbales); Jose Luis "Changuito" Quintana (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Johannes Wohlleben.
Recording information: Estudio Abdala, La Habana, Cuba.
Photographer: Johannes Wohlleben.
Ridiculous. Incredible. These are words that leap to the mind as it's searching for footing in the midst of the flowing stream of hyper-syncopated Cuban funk effortlessly played by Pupy y los Que Son, Son on their 2005 release Pupy el Buenagente. Sometimes age and experience affect a musician by cooling their blood and paring down their choices to the leave only the simplest, most essential elements. In other cases, it gives them the cool demeanor to do whatever the heck they want with flawless, unshakable confidence. The latter is the case with pianist Cesar Pedroso and his band of innovators. With the ability to both lay down swinging, tuneful grooves, and also create brain-bending, time-shifting vamps that are equal parts folklore and wave-of-the-future, los Que Son, Son truly sound like no other group performing today. Without the roguish, youthful quality of contemporaries like Klimax and Charanga Habanera, Pupy's outfit has a dark, mature sound that is furious and serious. Pupy el Buenagente may not only be their finest effort thus far, it may also be the album that heralds a new era for timba, it's coming of age. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez
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