Cuba based rap duo, Zona Franka, blends traditional rhythms with the grit and swagger of hip-hop and rap vocal phrasings. Their clever shout choruses create instant tropical dance classics using their unique self-titled "changui con flow" style.
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Artist:   Francisco Aguabella

Style Released Album Tracks Charts
Latin Jazz 1999 10 0


© 1999 Ubiquity Recordings. 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  Short Story
Alternative text
3:30 funky mambo with swinging horns
02  Quien Eres Tu
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5:12 debajo de una mata de mango te vi
03  Wood Place
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4:24 extended conga solo
04  Nena
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4:57 salsa con guaguanco, extended timbal solo
05  Cavalie
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3:18 hard bop tune, drumset featured
06  Son to Any Kind
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4:55 mood piece, piano and muted trumpet featured
07  Intensity
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4:02 another hot up-tempo number
08  Vencido
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4:31 beautiful piano intro, hip 6/8 sections
09  Caito
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4:46 no quedó ni el gato, caito se lo llevó
10  Danzonete
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4:56 el nombre lo dice todo
If there is such a thing, Aguabella is both the modern master and original gangster of Afro-Cuban music.

There is no shortage of conguero-led Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz groups in the world. With so many household names like Poncho Sanchez and Ray Barretto to choose from, why stop and take notice of the slightly below the radar Francisco Aguabella? All questions will be answered and doubt will disappear at the first listen to 1999's H2O. While other percussionist/bandleaders have their roots firmly in the mambo dance craze of the '50s and '60s, Aguabella's music is born of rhumba.

The difference is palpable. From his distinct, clear, sharp tone to his enigmatic, quinto-driven phrasing, Francisco, though a staple of the New York scene for many decades, never left Havana. Producer Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, a Latin jazz headliner himself, managed to capture the raw, no-frills energy of Aguabella's style on H2O beautifully. Sonically, the record has the closeness and intensity of first-row seats in a small, smoky club. Stylistically a little less folkloric than Francisco's first release, Agua de Cuba, there's a dance sensibility that drives the record. The arrangements are plenty jazzy, but without losing the visceral punch that so many bandleaders sacrifice. The selections with vocals are definitely salsa, but without being homogenized or slick, maintaining the funky quality so often sacrificed in preference toward shiny production. If there is such a thing, Aguabella is both the modern master and original gangster of Afro-Cuban music.

Musicians on "H 2 O"

Francisco Aguabella Leader, Vocals, Tumbadoras, Batá
David Romero Bongos
Joan Rotondi Piano
Ed Smith Drums
Dan Weinstein Trombone
Joe Rotondi, Jr. Piano
Eduardo Reyes Arranger
Jeff Bender Photography
Ryan Hicks Design
Neugue Hernández Timbales
Jonathan Pintoff Bass
Luis Mariachis Gonzales Trumpet
Luis González Trumpet
Nengue Hernández Timbales, Vocals
Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez Vocals, Producer
Charles Owens Saxophone