En San Juan

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COMPOSERS: Miguel Matamoros
LABELS: Nuevos Medios
WORKS: El Trio Matamoros: En San Juan
PERFORMER: Miguel Matamoros (guitar, vocals), Raphael Cueto (guitar, chorus vocals), Siro Rodríguez (maracas, vocals)
CATALOGUE NO: NM 15805

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If you’re any kind of fan of vintage Cuban music, the name Miguel Matamoros will be familiar from numerous versions of his songs by better-known artists. The author of at least one chapter in the Great Cuban Songbook, he wrote such evergreen classics as ‘Lagrimas negras’ and ‘Son de la Loma’, and his creations have regularly appeared on albums by Buena Vista Social Club members such as Omara Portuondo, Ibrahim Ferrer and the late Compay Segundo, who sang in the same deep harmony vocal style (‘segunda voz’) featured on these historic recordings.

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This CD collects two albums El Trio Matamoros made in neighbouring Puerto Rico during 1956 and 1960 – the year of their retirement. Significantly, Matamoros refused to turn his back on Castro’s nascent revolution, returning to his beloved Cuba and thus ensuring long term popularity among his compadres. On this evidence, the song writing must have helped, too. Jon Lusk