Record label Pimienta not only brought us some great imports last year, but also some excellent releases by J.P. Torres, the Cuban Masters and more. The long awaited release of the original Buena Vista Social Club member Amadito Valdés, Bajando Gervasio is finally out and a must, with appearances by Barbarito López, Germán Velazco, Isaac Delgado, David Alfaro and Javier Zalba.
Cuban Dreams: A Reunion is a two-CD set recorded in New York and Havana that unites Buena Vista Social Club members with Cuban musicians residing in the United States. My personal favorite is the one recorded in New York.
Ibrahim Ferrer, Pio Leiva, Manuel Licea "Puntillita", El Guajiro Mirabal, Amadito Valdes Jr., Cachaito (all from Buena Vista Social Club)united in New York with Cuban players Juan Pablo Torres, Joaquin Olivero, Alfredo Valdes, Jr. and many others to jam the night away. A unique situation between musicians that hadn't seen or played with each other for years.
The following summer, a Reunion of some of the same musicians, as well as others, was staged in Havana, bringing Cuban Dreams,A Reunion, The Havana Sessions, to life.