La Sonera Calaveras,
Numero Uno
(G2, 2003)

Bringing warmth to a cold Scottish winter's day, Numero Uno by La Sonera Calaveras is a CD to be prescribed for anyone suffering that condition called SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which results from a lack of sunshine and warmth. From roots in folk, Latin and jazz, they grow into a massive explosion of colour through music. The style of the album is pure Cuba, with a nostalgic streak going back over the decades.

The 11 tracks here are composed from within the band and they give full rein to the diverse talents of the members. The tracks are classified on the insert as a variety of styles from Merengue to Afro Spice with a hint of a jig. The latter piece, "Mi Voy Pal Baile," is a favourite, possibly because that slight familiarity with a hint of jig appeals. Another exceptional piece of music here is "Rumba del Pueblo." The very name conjures up heat and rhythm and a smiling face.

As with all music, listening to a new style is a challenge and many may bypass the world music section in the store. A CD like this would be an ideal introduction to what could become a new section in your CD collection. Give it a fair listen and you will not be disappointed.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 10 July 2004