All tracks are from records I picked up in Cuba in 2009. While not the primary purpose for my trip, I hoped to get a chance to dig for some Cuban gold.
The record store in Havana (yes, there’s only one), is pretty much shit. It’s half a plumbing store, half record shop with about 10 crates of picked over salsa records.
I had more luck at the flea market in Plaza de Armas and happened upon a Frank Emilio with Tata Guines record. I excitedly asked the market vendor where I could find more like this. He called some friends, and later that evening we took a “local’s taxi,” (i.e. anyone with a car and an extra seat making a bit extra cash. Cool for locals, but illegal for tourists) deep into Centro Habana. I entered into a broken down home powered by a single light bulb in the middle of the living room. A guy brought out about 2 crates of records, and as he put it “crema, crema, CREMA.” Top notch music.
Unfortunately I only had room in my pack for about a dozen, and I did end up paying about $100 for the lot — which is, I don’t know, like a year’s salary for the average Cuban. We both left very happy.
Some of the records are a little scratchy, but like the country itself, this just adds character.
Yoyi – Tu No Me Puedes Conquistar
Algo Nuevo con Juan Pablo Torres – Son A Propulsion
Algo Nuevo con Juan Pablo Torres – Ey!.. Op. I
Wilson Y Su Combo – ABC Blues
Chucho Valdes – Invento No. 4
Conjunto Casino – Goza Mi Son Montuno
Chucho Valdes – Chucho Cha Cha Cha
Frank Emilio, Tata Guines, G. Barreto, Gustavo Tamayo, y O. Hernandez – Habana
Arsenio Rodriguez – La Vida Es Un Sueno
Algo Nuevo con Juan Pablo Torres – A Luna Llena
Senen Suarez – Ser
Ikarere – Quiniambo
Senen Suarez – Extensia
Chucho Valdes – Cancion De La Tarde
Frank Emilio – Lazara Y Georgina