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A Tribute to Gonzalo Asencio, "Tío Tom"

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A Tribute to Gonzalo Asencio,
01
Mi tierra (My Land)
7:29
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02
No me culpes a mí (Don't Blame Me)
6:24
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03
Caballeros, qué mujer (Gentlemen, What A Woman
7:08
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04
Solo, errante y bohemio (Alone, Errant, and Bohemian)
5:54
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05
Mal de yerba (The Bad Seed)
7:23
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06
Donde están los cubanos? (Where Are the Cubans?)
5:23
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07
Siento que me regaña el corazón (I Feel Like My heart Is Scolding Me)
6:06
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08
Yo soy tu ley (I Am Your Law)
8:06
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09
Tio columbia (Uncle Columbia)
6:29
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 9   Total Length: 60:22

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They Say All Music Guide

Gonzalo Ascencio, known as Tio Tom (Uncle Tom in English), composed hundreds of rhumba pieces, exerting a considerable influence on the music in his native Cuba. On this album, the band Conjunto Todo Rumbera perform eight of Ascencio’s songs under the direction of drummer Orlando “Puntilla” Rios, also presenting a track co-composed by Rios that’s dedicated to Ascencio. Though the rhumba is sometimes known outside of Cuba as a more pop-oriented music that incorporates elements of the form into jazz-pop-influenced songs and arrangements, this is rhumba in its more traditional form. It’s played on an assortment of percussion instruments, the melody being provided by the lilting lead singing, often augmented by call-and-response style, chant-like background vocals. All of the pieces on this CD have mesmerizing rhythms created by the interlocking percussive instruments, combining with the vocals to create a haunting and economically powerful sound. The lyrics (entirely in Spanish) often cover romantic love, but also go into more topical subjects such as streetwalkers, the bohemian lifestyle, the Cuban land, and — in Ascencio’s most famous composition, “Donde Estan Los Cubanos” — a protest against the desecration of the statue of Cuban poet/statesman Jose Marti by North American sailors. The booklet includes detailed liner notes on Ascencio, rhumba, and the disc’s tracks, in both English and Spanish. – Richie Unterberger

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