Although traditional in its formation and execution of the son, the septet Santiaguero always brings surprises that keep it at the forefront and as current as ever: If his previous album No Quiero Llanto / Tributo Los Compadres invited figures like Jose Alberto El Canario, Oscar D ‘León, Andy Montañe or Ismael Miranda, this time they do not stay behind and the turn is for Ruben Blades – who repeats, because he was also in the recording Vamos Pa’La Fiesta (2012) -, Charlie Aponte or Arturo O ‘Farrill or Alfredo De La Fe, among others. Raíz, a production recorded in the Siboney Egrem studios of Santiago de Cuba, is the title of the most recent production of this ensemble founded in 1995 by the tresero Fernando Dewar.
14 numbers and two bonus tracks are included in Raiz, with arrangements undertaken jointly by the septet and with some collaborations by Geovanis Alcantara, Franklin Reytor, Ruben Leliebre, Marcos Fernandez and Leonardo Mariol.
The album opens with the piece by Arsenio Rodriguez I have not seen A Caridad in which Fernando Dewar (three) and Alain Dragoni (trumpet) stand out, while Cristinita, a composition by Pepe Sanchez, invites the former Gran Combo of Puerto Rico, Charlie Aponte in the vocal part. If Tu Te Vas, original by Juan Formell, presents the singer Giraldo “El Flaco” Bravo and the appearance of the violinist Alfredo De La Fe, in the same way we listen to the flute solo by Ruben Leliebre and a complete string ensemble composed by Carlos Alarcon, Virgen Marrero and Wilmer de León on the violin; Yimmy Delgado in the cello. Mosaic # 1, a number that reviews some of Adalberto Alvarez’s successes (Tal Vez Vuelvas a Llamarme and Pura Imagen), highlights Carlos Miyares solo on the alto saxophone, as well as the other saxophones performed by Ivan Sanchez (alto) , Rene “La Flor” Dominguez (high), Luis Angel Fuentes (tenor), Eraclio Palacios (tenor) and Yormanys Soto (baritone). La Meneadera (Ignacio Piñeiro) highlights Gabriel “La Historia” Montero and Alain Dragoni in solo of tumbadoras and trumpet, respectively. Root, an interlude, is an instrumental number that invites the Orfeón Santiago, a renowned choral group formed by Daria Abreu (direction and contralto), Sonia Garcia (contralto), Maria Elena Sanz (soprano), Lliliam Perez Matos (soprano), Abel Valdez (tenor), Adalberto Peña (tenor), Moises Miguel Hechavarria (bass), Yunier La Rosa (bass), in the same way we listen to Franklin Reytor (three) .The many times recorded La Rumba This Good is an explosive discharge to the rhythm of changüi with outstanding intervention by Ulises Benavides on the trombone, as well as Juan “Pipo” Despaigne, Arlis Cabrera and Inaudis Garbey on the bata drums. When Canta El Cornetín, a melody written by Mariano Merceron, in a danzón cha with the special participation of Arturo O’Farrill in the piano solo, and the execution of Leliebre in the flute solo and Dairon Robert in the bass. Medoro Madera and Ruben Blades are invited to the good review of the classic Black Tears of Matamoros. It’s already gone that age (Pablo Milanes) presents the intervention of trumpeter Nicholas Payton and in Falso, the last piece, we hear the voice of Reinaldo Creagh.