Sierra Maestra has always sprinkled new material into a repertoire founded on classic songs, but on last year's Sonando Ya (World Village) the band drew upon younger composers exclusively—half a passing of the torch, half an attempt to revitalize its own approach. As usual, the new repertoire isn't purely son—there are related styles like the countrified guaracha and the son antecedent changüí—but the songs all sound of a piece, with acoustic guitar and tres criss-crossing over clave-driven polyrhythms while the clarion trumpet lines of Yelfris Valdés maintain a beautifully lyrical running commentary. Below you can hear one of the best songs from Sonando Ya.
Sierra Maestra, "Perdona Mi Traición":
Allison Moorer, Crows (Rykodisc)
Roberta Sá, Braseiro (MP,B/Universal, Brazil)
Henry Threadgill Zooid, This Brings Us To, Volume II (Pi)
Jon Irabagon, Foxy (Hot Cup)
Trembling Bells, Abandoned Love (Honest Jon's)