"Vivencias en Clave Cubana" is the debut solo album of Cuban cuatro master Kiki Valera, a member of the Familia Valera Miranda, a century-old group and one of the most important purveyors of the Son Cubana. While completely dedicated to the performance of traditional Cuban music, Valera was exposed to Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery and Chick Corea through cassette tapes while in school and those jazz inspirations elevate the quality of his cuatro solos in subtle and beautiful ways. Joined here by childhood friend, reknowned Cuban vocalist Coco Freeman, Valera and his exciting ensemble pair 12 original songs with beautiful instrumental work in ways that will make you dance, laugh, and possibly shed a tear. Cuba's traditional music has a history of constant evolution from its very beginnings. With "Vivencias en Clave Cubana," Kiki Valera continues in that spirit.
Beyond Salsa Piano is a history and anthology of the role of the piano in the Cuban rhythm section – from its first appearance to the present. In a broader sense, it’s a study of the tumbao – the art of creating music from layers of repeating rhythmic and melodic phrases. Whether these syncopated figures are called tumbaos, guajeos, montunos, riffs or vamps, this Afro-Cuban concept lies at the heart of nearly every popular music genre from salsa to rock , funk, R&B, hiphop and jazz.

While presented as a set of method books, the series doubles as a history course and record collecting guide for listeners, dancers, and players of instruments other than the piano.

Perhaps the most important goal of the series is to provide a comprehensive understanding of how tumbaos are constructed, their central role in the texture of Latin music of all eras, and the endless possibilities they provide for creative composing and arranging.
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Que Felicidad

Artist:   Picason

Style Released Album Tracks Charts
Timba 2005 10 0


© 2005 Picasón. All rights reserved.
Audio album download includes album tracks, liner notes and cover art.
All audio tracks in MP3-VBR format. About LPM album downloads.
# Name Play Time Info
01  Llego La Ley
Alternative text
2:28 llegó Picason, se acabó el desorden
02  Que Felicidad
Alternative text
5:36 canta y no llores, inspirational
03  Yo Soy Tu Hombre
Alternative text
5:39 old school salsa feel (w/ PR-style bomba)
04  Que Inspiración
Alternative text
6:42 smooth vocals with brazilian influence
05  Dime
Alternative text
6:08 arrangement with classic Fania flavors
06  Cuida Este Amor
Alternative text
5:30 rica timba, killer bamboleo-type lines & breaks
07  Donde Nace el Amor
Alternative text
5:33 jazzy and soulful, te pido la bendición
08  Se Acabó
Alternative text
5:08 melón-type piano intro, congas featured
09  Quiero
Alternative text
5:28 outstanding cha-cha, ripping solos
10  Sola en la Calle
Alternative text
5:29 fast dance tune, groovy coro-pregón
20th Anniversary Special-Edition (fifth) album from one of the best timba bands outside of Cuba. An extremely danceable and sophisticated record.

download the lyrics (letras) of this album here.

Que Felicidad
Unlike the international trend to a "neo-traditional" salsa style, the musicians in Cuba developed their music into a completely different direction. They came out with a fresher sound, more complex rhythm and harmony and they called it "timba". José Luís Cortés (bandleader of NG La Banda) who has worked with Picason in the early nineties is considered to be the father of the new style. Timba uses all kinds of musical influences. The funky seventies (Kool & the Gang, Earth Wind & ire, etc.) play their parts together with Hip-Hop and Rap. Compared to traditional salsa, the timba groove is heavier and even more syncopated. There’s more space for the rhythm section to improvise, bass and piano play their poly-rhythmical "tumbaos“ with much more power. The horn-riffs have become sharper and the lyrics cheekier.

< Picason has put the finishing touches to Orlando Valle’s wonderful compositions by adding the latest spices from the Cuban timba-kitchen. There’s also a "special red hot pepper“ with the group now: Ernesto Manuitt. Ernesto is known as a lead singer of one of the top Cuban timba bands, "Klimax". Now living in Europe, Ernesto is the youngest member of Picason and one good reason for the authenticity, the high quality, and the refreshing energy of the actual Picason albums 'Timba' and 'Que Felicidad'.

'Que Felicidad' marks the 20th anniversary of Picason.